Belgian ace outsprints Sam Bennett and Elia Viviani at Madinat Zayed.
Stage winner press conference video is available below.
Madinat Zayed, 20 February 2022 – Belgium’s Jasper Philipsen took his first ever stage victory at the UAE Tour as he successfully out-sprinted a star studded field of fast men in the bunch sprint at the end of Stage 1, the Al Ain Water Stage. Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani and Dylan Groenewegen surrendered after the Alpecin-Fenix rider launched his sprint from far out, taking advantage of the tailwind. He claimed three of the four distinctive race jerseys: GC, points and best young rider, while breakaway rider Dmitrii Strakhov of Gazprom–RusVelo took the Black Jersey of the intermediate sprints. It was all together again with 20km to go before the highly awaited first bunch sprint of the year in the UCI WorldTour.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council, H.E. Nasser Mohammed Al Mansoori, Ruler’s Representative Court Al Dhafrah Region and Ahmed Ibrahim, International Holding Company Head of Corporate Communication and Media, awarded the Red Jersey to Jasper Philipsen
1 – Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), 184km in 4h42’34”, average speed 39.070km/h
2 – Sam Bennett (BORA – Hansgrohe) s.t.
3 – Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers) s.t.
1 – Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)
2 – Sam Bennett (BORA – Hansgrohe) at 4″
3 – Dmitrii Strakhov (Gazprom–RusVelo) st.
Jasper Philipsen said in the press conference: “This victory makes this a really great start to the season. Everything went perfectly. We had a tailwind at the end. When it’s a headwind, you can gamble and come later, but today we knew the speed was high. I’m happy we could find a gap, so I could sprint as I wanted. To be first on the line was a great feeling. I started my career with UAE Team Emirates but I couldn’t race here until I changed team in order to focus more on sprinting and riding the classics. It’s a great race here with a very high level of sprinters. It’s important to start the season well in the UAE.”
The video of today’s press conference is available at this link.
Data collected by Velon’s devices on the riders’ bikes tells a detailed story of the stage. An infographic about today’s stage can be downloaded here.
Stage 2 – International Holding Company Stage – Hudayriyat Island – Abu Dhabi Breakwater (176km)
A stage around the city of Abu Dhabi. It departs from Hudayriat Island and runs in its first part in Abu Dhabi to reach the Sheikh Zayed Bridge (arch. Zaha Hadyd) and then to Khalifa City. After the halfway point at Al Wathba Camel Track, the route passes by Al Falah to converge on Yas Marina and head to Saadiyat Island and the Corniche before reaching Abu Dhabi Breakwater, where a bunch sprint is expected.
The final 5km remains on a wide road with sweeping bends leading to the tarmac finish line.
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(Photo Credits: Yasser Abras)