Remco Evenepoel already had an upper hand on his UAE Tour GC rivals after the wind-scattered first stage, and on Tuesday his Soudal-Quick Step outfit was fastest over 17 km in the team time trial, giving him a further advantage.
On track with the pack. 🐺🥇
First win of the season is always something special, winning with a 1 second difference in a TTT even more.💙 pic.twitter.com/9qSVWiAOwg
— Remco Evenepoel (@EvenepoelRemco) February 21, 2023
The home squad of Adam Yates and Jay Vine, UAE-Emirates was the first to launch at Khalifa Port, and posted 18:33. There were clipped a half hour later by the pink-clad gang of EF Education-Easypost, which stopped the clock at 18:18.
🥈 What a ride from our squad at the UAE Tour team time trial! pic.twitter.com/eRmi2WWRX3
— EF Pro Cycling (@EFprocycling) February 21, 2023
Sitting in the hot seat, the top team survived a scare from Ineos Grenadiers, who would end up having the last laugh at the end of the day.
But it was the last squad to head down the ramp, Lotto-QuickStep, down to four men, who would take the day’s flowers, crossing the line one second faster than EF Education-Easypost.
Ineos’s Luke Plapp was in the 11-rider group that sprinted it out on Monday, and he finished ahead of Evenepoel. Ineos was only +0:03 on Soudal-QuickStep. Therefore, since both are tied on time at 3:35:50, Plapp took the leader’s jersey from Monday’s victor Tim Merlier.
Plapp seemed to be wearing his chamois on the outside, which might or might not be fashion forward.
Did they print Plapp’s skin suit inside out? #UAETour pic.twitter.com/rQX6AoSdI2
— Dan Deakins (@DanDeakins) February 21, 2023
Pello Bilbao is Evenepoel’s closest rival at +0:04. Yates has 1:09 to make up, Jay Vine 2:20. They will all have a summit finish on which to duke it out on Wednesday.
2023 UAE Tour, Stage 2
1) Soudal-QuickStep 18:17
2) EF Education-Easypost +0:01
3) Ineos Grenadiers +0:03
2023 UAE Tour GC
1) Luke Plapp (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) 3:35:50
2) Remco Evenepoel (Belgium/Soudal-QuickStep) s.t.
3) Nikias Arndt (Germany/Bahrain-Victorious) +0:03
63) Derek Gee (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:25
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