Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) won the final stage of the UAE Tour, sprinting to victory ahead of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quickstep) and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious). Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Emirates) won the race overall.
The final stage of the UAE Tour was a 145km loop around Abu Dhabi, with a flat final run towards Abu Dhabi Breakwater. Team Qhubeka ASSOS were rallying around Giacomo Nizzolo for the final dash to the line.
Some of the early racing saw crosswinds split the race with around 60km to go. Max Walscheid made the front split of 20-odd riders for Team Qhubeka ASSOS, but with a change in direction, the race all came back together for the expected sprint.
With the final 4km taking place on a wide open boulevard, there was a constant washing machine effect in the peloton as riders continuously fought to get their leaders nearer to the front of the peloton. The jostle for position unfortunately saw our Qhubeka ASSOS boys lose each other in the final kilometers.
Matteo Pelucchi put in one big final effort to bring Nizzolo back to the head of the race, inside of a kilometer to go. Our European champ was squeezed against the barriers though, and being forced to brake, he could not contend the final sprint.
Crossing the line in 16th would be the final result for Nizzolo and Qhubeka ASSOS at this year’s UAE Tour. In the overall race, Pogacar took the victory with Domenico Pozzovivo our best, in 21st position.
Ofcourse we would have liked to go home with a win but it didn’t work out that way for us. Overall I am satisfied with the team performance here this week. We came to the UAE Tour with many new riders, four of which it was their first race of the season. The guys got to know each other better in the high stress race situations, and that feeling will be so important for the leadouts to come in the rest of the season.Aart Vierhouten – Sport Director