Another day for the sprinters in the UAE as Bauer grabs 12thThu 28 Feb 2019
It was another opportunity for the sprinters on the fifth stage of the UAE Tour with the day ending in a bunch kick for the line as expected.
With a sprint always looking likely, it was the lead-out trains that came to the fore in the finale and Kiwi Jack Bauer took the chance to contest the finish, coming home in 12th.
A Familiar Sight
With an undemanding profile on the menu, the fifth stage always looked set to be another chance for the sprinters to flex their muscles at the end of the 181km stage to Khor Fakkan.
It was a familiar sight as the bunch rolled out of Flag Island, with members of Gazprom-Rusvelo and Team Novo Nordisk both committing men to form the day’s five-man breakaway.
Their advantage stretched to a maximum of five minutes, but that was soon reined in by the peloton who held the escapees to a gap of around three minutes for most of the day.
With a sprint finale on the cards, it was left to the sprinters teams to do the pulling on the front and the gap to the breakaway continued to shrink as the race passed through 50km to go.
It was all back together at the 30km to marker as the tempo ramped up and the teams began to get organised for the finish into Khor Fakkan. The teams with designs on contesting the sprint controlled the speed of the pack up until the final kilometre when the fast-men were left to launch their kick.
It was Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - Quick Step) who came out on top of a hotly contested dash for the line with Bauer taking the chance to get amongst the finale, crossing the line in 12th place.
"The plan was to go for Luka today, he just wanted to have us stay with him and gamble on being able to follow the right wheel in the finale, which is going to work something times, but it didn't work out for him today."
"Tomorrow is a climb and another chance for Brent and Tsgabu to do their thing, so we'll support them and look after them duirng the day."
"It was really easy all day long so we all knew it was going to be a super-fast finale."
"We let the sprinters teams do their thing in the final as there are a lot of teams here with strong sprinters."
"We tried to go for me, and I felt good, but in the last kilometre the bunch was everywhere on the road and I had to brake a few times to avoid crashing and that was my chance gone."
UAE Tour – Stage 5 Results:
1. Elia Viviani (Lotto Soudal) 4:48:59
2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
3. Marcel Kittel (Team Katusha - Alpecin) ST
12. Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
UAE Tour – General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 18:54:09
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:21
3. David Gaudu (Groupama FDJ) +0:38
19. Brent Bookwalter (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +02:02
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.