UAE Tour Stage 6: Alexey Lutsenko, Luis Leon Sanchez and Dmitriy Gruzdev animate sprint stage in Dubai
After yesterday’s last mountain stage to Jebel Jais, the UAE Tour made its return to a flat stage for sprinters with the finish in Dubai.
Despite a bunch sprint in the final of the stage was more than expected, the Astana – Premier Tech riders decided to animate the stage with attacks with yesterday’s hero of the day, Alexey Lutsenko, and his teammate Luis Leon Sanchez both going in the breakaway together with four more riders.
The group of Lutsenko and Sanchez opened up a three-minute gap to the peloton, spending over 140 kilometres in front of the race. Once the break had been caught back, it was Dmitriy Gruzdev who launched a solo attack with some 22 kilometres to go. A strong effort from the Kazakh veteran saw him hold off the peloton until the last 10 kilometres of the stage.
Matteo Sobrero was involved in a crash with 6.8 kilometres to go but, fortunately, was able to come back on the bike and finish the race.
As was expected, a bunch sprint decided the stage with the Irish rider Sam Bennett taking the win, while the young Kazakh rider Yevgeniy Gidich was Astana – Premier Tech’s best performer, crossing the line in 14th position.
“We can’t fight against the pure sprinters here, so today we decided to try something different. Due to the wind conditions in the second half of the stage, we decided to send our riders in the break aiming to have them in the front if the peloton split into pieces due to crosswinds. Indeed, there were echelons with some 50 – 60 kilometres to go, but later the peloton came back all together. With five teams pulling hard in front of the main group our breakaway did not have a chance to survive, but anyway, the guys are happy they tried something today. Also, Dmitriy Gruzdev made a nice attack in the final. Just one stage remains in this race and we are already thinking about the next big goals, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico”, – said Dmitriy Fofonov, Team Performance Manager.
UAE Tour. Stage 6. Deira Island – Palm Jumeirah, 165 km.
Stage Top-3: 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step); 2. Elia Viviani (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits); 3. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-Hansgrohe).
Astana – Premier Tech Stage Top-3: 14. Yevgeniy Gidich; 51. Alexey Lutsenko; 52. Stefan De Bod.
Photo credit: @GettyImages