Youngster Groves in the mix for sixth on stage four of the UAE Tour

Wed 26 Feb 2020

Neo-pro Kaden Groves mixed it with the best in the business on his way to sixth place on stage four of the UAE Tour.

The 21-year-old was given the chance to sprint after leading out Slovenian Luka Mezgec earlier in the week and the youngster battled to a solid top-10 finish in Dubai.

Meanwhile race leader Adam Yates made it safely through the day to maintain his overall lead ahead of tomorrow’s stage which features the same climb the Brit was victorious on on stage three.

Easy Does It

Just two riders braved the breakaway on the fourth day of racing, with the sprint teams happy to allow a manageable break go away in the early kilometres.

The peloton knocked off the pace for much of the day, with a steady tempo being set by the sprint teams. The breakaway was down to a single rider with 40-kilometres left to race and as a result the peloton slowed up once again.

The lull in pace saw the gap go out to over two minutes after falling below 40-seconds as the sprint argued about who was going to lead the chase. The lone leader was eventually caught with seven kilometres to go as the chasers got organised and attentions turned to the upcoming sprint.

Sprint Finish

Mitchelton-SCOTT marshalled race leader Yates into the final three kilometres before focusing on the sprint finale, with Groves getting the opportunity to try his luck after being on leadout duty earlier in the race

Strong work from Jack Bauer and Michael Hepburn saw Mezgec take the final turn ahead with Groves on his wheel, but the young Australian found himself boxed in as he went to launch his kick off his teammates wheel, eventually crossing the line in sixth.

Kaden Groves:
"The boys did a great job day to position is going into the final corner, we were really lined-up after Yatesy was safe in the bunch we had the right side of the road and the guys got us through to the final corner at the front."

"I had Heppy go through with Luka still on his wheel with quite a long way to go, maybe 500 metres from the final corner then Luka went until about 250 to go, but I waited a little bit too long to get clean air and Morkov boxed me in on the barrier, so that was pretty disappointing to not be able to open it up for a sprint."

"But sixth in the end in that sort of field I’m quite happy with. It gives me confidence for the future to work with the guys and we can take confidence too that we can leadout in this race with the guys we have, they did a great job."

UAE Tour Stage 3:
1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 4:16:13
2. Fernando Gavaria (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
3. Pascal Ackermann (BORA-hansgrohe) ST
6. Kaden Groves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

UAE Tour General Classification:
1. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 16:46:15
2. Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) +1:07
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) +1:35

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.