Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) launched a solo attack with 6km remaining in stage 3 of the 2020 UAE Tour.
Yates took the stage by 1:03 ahead of Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), and now leads Pogačar in the general classification by 1:07.
“I attacked maybe a little too early, but in the end I felt good.”
Yates was circumspect about today’s win, “A minute is a lot, but we have to do this climb again, and maybe my legs won’t be so good then”.
Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Ineos) was dropped early in the stage, and appears to be struggling with a comeback since a horrific crash in early 2019. Froome ceded 10 minutes to the day’s stage winner.
With winds expected to be a factor, the main group was nervous from the start.
A four-man group broke free, and eventually established a lead of seven minutes.
Several crashes marred the early kilometers of the stage.
UAE-Team Emirates went to the front to take control of the break, and put Pogacar in a safe position near the front.
With 20km left, and the final climb at 10km, teams followed UAE-Team Emirates and brought GC contenders to the front.
The break was caught at the base of the Jebel Hafeet climb.
Yates’ decisive move came about half way up the climb, “It is my first race of the season, so it was difficult for me to estimate where I stood compared to the competition. Certainly with today’s heat, it’s difficult to estimate, I think it was 37 to 38 degrees all day. I just wanted to test the legs to see where I am.”
Wednesday’s flat stage, the fourth of seven, is a 173km run to Dubai City Walk where a mass bunch sprint is expected.
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), 4:42:33
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), at 1:03
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team), at 1:30
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), 12:30:02
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates), at 1:07
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team), at 1:35