Tadej Pogacar extended his lead at the UAE Tour today after the reigning Tour de France champion drove the perfect race in an impressive team effort that gave the Emirati team their first stage win of this year’s UAE Tour.
The third leg of the UAE tour brought the Strata Manufacturing peloton in Al Ain to the tour’s first summit on scenic Jebel Hafeet.
The team of the UAE team Emirates, in which Jan Polanc, Davide Formolo and the new man Rafal Majka led the line on behalf of Pogacar up to the last 5 km, ensured a high pace.
Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers), Pogacar’s closest GC rival, pulled back from the group about 4 km ahead of the Slovenian and managed to stay on his steering wheel. With the pressure to win on home soil, Pogacar marked Cooly Yates’ bike and stayed with the British every time he tried to break away.
Yates could not move Pogacar and almost 400 meters from the finish Pogacar started and sprinted to the finish line. He passed Yates and drove to the first stage win of the UAE Team Emirates 2021 UAE Tour.
Tadej Pogacar said of his stage win: “We wanted a win, we have one. It was a very tough day, a little stressful because there was little chance of relays again, but the team did a super, super good job. We stayed in the right places throughout the race and the guys got me to the bottom of the climb really well and then set the pace. I just had to respond to attacks. It was super difficult, but I’m super happy to win. “
Pogacar now has a 43 second lead over Yates and 1:03 over Almeida in the overall standings, but insisted the race has not yet been won. “There are still four levels. Everything can happen. There could be seasons and there is still an ascent. It will be an uphill battle until the end. “
Level 3 results
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 03:58:35
Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) ST
Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo) 00:48 ”
General classification according to level 3
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 07:58:30
Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) 00:43 ”
Joao Almeida (Deceuininck-Quickstep 01:43 ”
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