Mathieu van der Poel has won the opening stage of the UAE Tour. In the sprint he was the strongest of a group of 25 riders after a fast fan stage. He beat Viviani and Gaviria, among others, in the sprint.
When the wind blows in the desert, it is excellent weather for fans. And who says fans, says Deceuninck-Quick.Step. After an hour and a half of course, the blue brigade continued with the wind to the side and that caused major fractures in the peloton.
Because a group of 26 riders broke away from the rest. Of the classification riders only Joao Almeida, Tadej Pogacar and Adam Yates were in the first group. Gaviria and Viviani were the main sprinters because Deceuninck had forgotten Bennett in the second group. Also very attentive: Matthieu van der Poel.
Almeida took advantage and took 6 bonus seconds in the intermediate sprints. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/van-der-poel-beats-viviani-in-the-uae-tour.html
The Portuguese hoped to be able to build a lead over Pogacar and Yates.
In the final kilometers Deceuninck-Quick was sitting with a few riders in front, but without a sprinter it would be difficult to win. They quickly realized that, and so Almeida attacked. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/van-der-poel-beats-viviani-in-the-uae-tour.html
The Portuguese was caught again and then Mattia Cattaneo went. Pogacar also tried to close the gap with the Italian, but eventually Gaviria came to the wheel of the Italian.
In the last kilometer Kenneth Vanbilsen was still able to close the gap for his leader Viviani and the group could sprint for the victory. Shane Archbold started the sprint with Viviani and Van der Poel in the wheel. Each along one side of the road, it quickly became clear that Mathieu van der Poel was the strongest of the group. Article link https://www.news1.news/news/2021/02/van-der-poel-beats-viviani-in-the-uae-tour.html
The Dutchman crossed the line with a bicycle length lead. He is also the first leader.
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