Cycling News

UAE Tour’s GC riders tackle first summit finish

UAE Tour's GC riders tackle first summit finish

After a wild and windy opening stage and Tuesday’s team time trial, the UAE Tour headed into the mountains on Wednesday. Remco Evenepoel took over the race lead from Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers) with runner-up bonus seconds, while Movistar’s Einer Rubio earned his first career victory on his birthday. Canada’s Derek Gee came in 51st.

The birthday boy earns his first career victory.

The Course

Jebel Jais was the first categorized climb of the UAE Tour, so whoever conquered the 19-km, 5.6 percent ascent would not only win the stage but also wear the first mountains jersey. Three heavies have won up there: Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Roglič.

Expected to be in the GC mix after his Tour Down Under victory, Jay Vine had to withdraw from the race with a knee injury.

A quartet of escapees rolled up nearly nearly 6:00 gap. Ineos and UAE-Emirates reeled in the last fugitive, Rubio’s teammate Oier Lazcano, with 14 km of Jebel Jais to climb.

The peloton was still large and the grades were too moderate for attacks to stick. Rubio tried his luck with 10 km remaining, teammate Albert Torres leading him out. Rubio was +1:29 at the start of the stage and Evenepoel’s Soudal-QuickStep kept him within hailing distance. Nobody could ping off the front of the 20 strong group, so birthday boy Rubio took the day’s flowers.

Evenepoel is now 7 seconds clear of Plapp at the top of the table, with Pello Bilbao third another 4 seconds back. In coming third, Adam Yates rose 26 places to enter the top 10.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be opportunities for the sprinters before Sunday’s queen stage ending on Jebel Hafeet.

2023 UAE Tour, Stage 3
1) Einer Rubio (Colombia/Movistar) 4:51:24
2) Remco Evenepoel…

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