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UAE Tour stage 1 live coverage

UAE Tour stage 1 2022

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the first WorldTour race of the 2022 season – the UAE Tour!

Today's first stage of the race takes the riders on a straight out and back course into the desert south of Madinat Zayed in the south of the country.

It's a very flat parcours today with no climbs on the way to the finish, so few obstacles for the sprinters.

QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, BikeExchange-Jayco, UAE Team Emirates and Astana Qazaqstan are all at the front of the peloton at the moment.

Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè have two men in the break with Luca Rastelli and Alessandro Tonelli. Gazprom-RusVelo also have two with Pavel Kochetkov and Dmitry Strakhov. Lotto Soudal's Xandres Vervloesem rounds off the quintet.

The five riders have a solid gap which is fluctuating at around the three-minute mark. 

It would take something bizarre to happen for today's breakaway riders to have any chance of winning the stage.

Then you have Alberto Dainese and Cees Bol, Kaden Groves, Olav Kooij, Marc Sarreau, Marijn van den Berg, Rudy Barbier, Matteo Malucelli, Sacha Modolo...

133km to go

Bahrain Victorious and UAE Team Emirates now at the front of the peloton in two separate trains.

125km to go

The gap keeps coming down with Bahrain Victorious on the front. As they pass through the feed zone it's now 2:05.

Down to 1:50 now.

How to watch the 2022 UAE Tour – live TV and streaming

115km to go

No one team really in control at the moment. 2:55 to the break now.

A look at some of the top contenders for today's stage... Not too many wins on the board just yet. Fabio Jakobsen – currently at the Volta ao Algarve – is the top sprinter of the year so far with four wins.

108km to go

Still a long way to go today. The moto camera pans out to show the vast expanse of desert ahead of the breakaway.

UAE Team Emirates have their squad lined up behind the the BikeExchange and QuickStep riders at the front of the peloton. Bardiani have a few riders up there too, playing spoiler.

100km to go

QuickStep have sent more men to the front now as the gap is steady at 3:20.

A couple of roundabouts for the riders, which break up the long and straight roads.

88km to go

3:05 between break and peloton now.

We'll have another sprint coming up in the not too distant future. The second intermediate sprint comes after 126km at Liwa.

75km to go

Around 10km to go until the intermediate sprint. The leader in that classification wears the black jersey here (black being one of the colours of the UAE flag).

The red jersey will go to the overall leader, the green jersey to the points classification leader, and the white jersey to the youth classification leader.

65km to go

A look at the breakaway today.

Two kilometres to go untl the break hit the second intermediate sprint of the day.

Strakhov duly takes the sprint in Liwa ahead of Tonelli. He's the intermediate sprint leader now and will don the black jersey at the end of the stage.

Strakhov now sits up from the peloton to change a front wheel.

There isn't much of an incentive for Strakhov to battle back to the breakaway now. Will he just sit up and drop back to the peloton?

Today's stage is the first of three held within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the southernmost of the UAE as well as by far the largest by area and second-largest by population.

52km to go

It's a straight run all the way to the finish now. No obstacles of note and the finishing straight is flat, straight, long, and wide.

Sergio Samitier (Movistar) sees the moto camera pull up next to him and yawns. Yep.

44km to go

It's still all calm in the peloton at the moment.

Here's a shot of the peloton out in the sand dunes earlier today because there's basically nothing going on right now...

32km to go

BikeExchange, Bahrain and QuickStep on the front of the peloton now. FDJ close behind.

Rastelli, Tonelli, Kochetkov and Vervloesem continue rolling along out front.

Crash in the peloton! Rick Zabel (Israel-Premier Tech) goes down but he's back up quickly.

A touch of wheels in the middle of the peloton. Zabel is the only man to hit the deck there.

24km to go

20km to go

No significant pace in the peloton at the moment. BikeExchange and QuickStep withe a few men up front.

The speed at the moment is just 40kph.

15km to go

Bardiani, Bahrain, QuickStep, FDJ, DSM, UAE are all spread across the road at the front of the peloton.

A bump in the middle of the peloton creates a ripple through the group though nobody goes down, thankfully.

10km to go

Not long to go now...

7km to go

Bora-Hansgrohe, meanwhile, are right at the back of the peloton at the moment.

5km to go

Movistar and UAE are moving up now, too.

Mark Cavendish came out on top in our stage winner poll earlier on. 40% of votes for him, 15% for Philipsen, 24% for Bennett and 21% for other.

Now the QuickStep train is fully organised on the right. 

3km to go

2km to go

It's a mess of teams up there now. No clear lead out train.

1km to go

BikeExchange perhaps the most organised here.

QuickStep move up too.

The sprint launches at 250 to go!

Such a disorganised run-in. It looked like Bennett went first.

Philipsen came up on the nearside barriers, though, and he looks to have taken the win!

Bennett was second behind Philipsen with Viviani and Groenewegen close behind.

Cavendish was alongside Philipsen just before the sprint started but he had nowhere to go with his routes blocked off.

Philipsen, Bennett, Viviani were the top three at the line.

Philipsen after the finish...

Here's the top 10 on the stage...

And here's the first GC of the 2022 WorldTour...

Philipsen takes the plaudits after the stage.

Our live racing coverage continues today with all the action from the final stage of the Volta ao Algarve.

Our report page is up here with a brief report and results. Check back for a full report on today's stage 1 action.

Tomorrow will be another chance for the sprinters to battle for victory as they race 176 kilometres from Hudayriyat Island to Abu Dhabi Breakwater. 

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