Amber Kraak (FDJ-Suez) spoiled the sprinter’s party on the final day of the UAE Tour Women in Abu Dhabi, going solo from the day’s breakaway to hang on and take out the stage win.
The Dutchwoman was the final survivor from the day’s four-woman break, and proved to have the strongest legs of the group heading into the final kilometres on the pan-flat 105km stage.
Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) came closest to catching Kraak, just falling short after launching her sprint with Kraak in sight. Behind her, Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) rounded out the podium, while SD Worx did at least have the overall win to celebrate thanks to Lotte Kopecky, despite missing out on a clean sweep of stage wins at the race.
How it unfolded
On the final stage, the peloton was racing through the cityscape of the UAE capital. Starting at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the riders covered 105 km crossing from island to island before finishing on the Abu Dhabi Breakwater, just down the road from the ‘Big Flag’.
After a few unsuccessful attacks, Sophie Wright (Fenix-Deceuninck) initiated the break of the day, taking Monica Greenwood (Team Coop-Repsol) and Margarita Misyurina (Tashkent City Women) with her. Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ) bridged up to them, and the four riders gradually built an advantage of just over three minutes.
The first intermediate sprint on the Yas Marina Circuit was won by Greenwood ahead of Wright, Kraak, and Misyurina, and the break went through the second sprint point at the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi in the exact same order. This brought Greenwood up to 16 points, but also secured the black intermediate sprint jersey for Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) who had collected 17 points in the first three days.
Misyurina dropped back from the break with cramps 22km from the finish, leaving the other three escapees to venture on. The chase work was left to SD Worx-Protime who did not get any help from the other teams, and the breakaway still held a two-minute advantage going into the final 20km.
The time gap continued to ebb away as the riders raced towards the race finale, though not as quick as the peloton and the sprinters within would have liked.
Heading into the final 10km and with SD Worx-Protime and DSM-Firmenich PostNL still leading the chase, the break’s advantage held steady at a minute. Over the next 5km, only 15 more seconds ticked off while up front the break split apart under the high pace.
Greenwood was the first to drop back as Kraak drove the group, with the…