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Tough TTT opener at the UAE Tour

Sun 24 Feb 2019

The first ever UAE Tour got underway with a 16km TTT around the Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi, with Mitchelton-SCOTT recording a time of 17minutes 21seconds to end the day as the 12th fastest squad of the 20-team field.

Debutant Tsgabu Grmay led the team across the line, as the seven-rider squad were reduced to four at the line, with fellow debutant Brent Bookwalter, veteran Michael Albasini and Slovenian Luka Mezgec setting the time at the finish.

Power Course

The flat and open coastal circuit meant that wind was always likely to play a factor as the seven-rider teams powered around the Al Hudayriat Island.

Time trial specialist Jack Bauer and fellow Kiwi Sam Bewley were used up early on the 16km course, as Mitchelton-SCOTT looked to keep Grmay safe and set him up for his GC ambitions.

Neo-pro Callum Scotson was the next rider to be sacrificed as the line approached, putting in a strong effort before swinging off and leaving it to the final four to finish off the job.

Tough Opener

After a challenging first day on the time trial bikes, Grmay will begin his challenge for the overall at 32 seconds down on the day’s winner Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma).

Michael Albasini:
“We did a solid ride today. We took off well and had a really smooth ride through the first part of the circuit.”

“Then at mid-race we had a little misunderstanding swapping off on the wrong side, luckily we didn’t crash, but Jack had to take a little trip through the desert! So, we lost fair a bit of time there.”

“Jack did really well to stay on the bike, but stuff like this can happen and we dealt with the situation well and brought it back for a solid ride.”

UAE Tour – Stage 1 TTT Results:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
2. Laurens De Plus(Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
3. Jos Van Emeden (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
57. Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:32


UAE Tour – General Classification after Stage 1:
1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
2. Laurens De Plus(Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
3. Jos Van Emeden (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:49
57. Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:32

Photo courtesy of Getty.

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