Mezgec 7th and Yates 8th up the Hatta Dam on stage two of the UAE TourMon 24 Feb 2020
Mitchelton-SCOTT put two riders inside the top 10 on the second stage of the UAE Tour as the peloton tackled the infamous Hatta Dam.
Slovenian Luka Mezgec backed up his fifth place on stage one with seventh on stage two, just one place ahead of his teammate and general classification contender Adam Yates.
It was a familiar start to the proceedings on the second day of racing as a small breakaway was allowed to go clear as the peloton rolled out of Hatta. The two escapees were allowed a maximum advantage of over four minutes as the bunch controlled the gap.
There was no chance of the breakaway holding off the bunch, despite the relaxed tempo being set, and the remaining rider was eventually swept up with 23 kilometres to go.
The dynamic of the race then changed as teams with hopes of a stage victory began to battle for control at the front of the peloton. The pace was ramped up by the Movistar Team on the lumpy run to the final ramp and two riders clipped off the front with 10 kilometres to go.
The Final Ramp
The duo were eventually shutdown with inside the final four kilometres with Mitchelton-SCOTT moving both Mezgec and Yates to the front of the pack as the short, steep ramp up the Hatta Dam approached.
Sam Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick Step) was the first rider to launch his sprint but he was overhauled by Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) on the line, with Mezgec and Yates crossing the line together four seconds back.
"It was another easy start and then later on a hard final. The plan was to save Adam for the GC and go for the stage with me."
"I felt good today, but again I was too far back going into the final corner. It’s a thin line between having a smooth ride into the last 200 metres and being in a good position."
UAE Tour Stage 2 Results:
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 4:18:16
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick Step) +0:02
7. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:04
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.