UAE Team Emirates’ Juan Sebastian Molano took the second win in a row by a Colombian rider in this UAE Tour, winning on the line with a well-timed throw. Olav Kooij of Jumbo Visma and Sam Welsford of Team DSM made up the rest of the day’s podium. Because of the wind, the timing was super important in the sprint on Stage, with Gaviria and Merlier both caught out by going too early and being passed with around 100 metres still to go.
For UAE Team Emirates, it’s a first win in their home race that hasn’t gone fully to plan with usual UAE Tour high GC finishing rider Adam Yates losing time on the first stage. There are still 2 more flat stages to come in this race and more opportunities for Molano to potentially double up. A somewhat surprise winner in this company, the likes of Dylan Groenewegen, Sam Bennett and Mark Cavendish weren’t able to seriously contest the stage victory. It was Molano who had the fastest finish today, combing around both Kooij and Welsford in the final few metres.
The day’s breakaway saw Samuele Zoccarato and Alessandro Tonelli, both of Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizane, and Alex Baudin of AG2R Citroen go clear after just 1 kilometre. They lasted most of the day but were caught around the 2.5km to go mark.
“It’s a good victory for me, a good victory for the team. I’m very happy for the team, for this country. Thank you all the team and the riders. Pascal is a good sprinter, now he is not here, because it’s better for me. My opportunity here is more important for me and for the team.”Juan Sebastian Molano