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Cycling

UAE Tour Stage 2: Caleb Ewan Sprints to victory on Hatta Dam, moves into overall lead


The Australian sprint star patiently waited before attacking in the closing meters, on a double-digit grade to the line.

Coming around Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep) who launched early, Caleb Ewan put 2 seconds into the Irishman in the final 50m, while the sprint for third, was taken by Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), who was two seconds behind Bennett.

Ewan won the Hatta Dam stage in 2019, and was familiar with the steep grade in the closing meters of the stage.

“I just told my last man, Roger Kluge, to put me on the wheel of Sam Bennett and that’s exactly what he did. I was off the road a bit with one kilometer to go but luckily Roger was still there and he dropped me on the wheel. That’s exactly where I wanted to be on that last corner.”

“It’s great to win here again one year later. We thought it would be a harder stage this time but due to the absence of the wind it was a pretty straightforward race. My team positioned me perfectly. I wasn’t worried when Sam Bennett went before me because I knew this race was to be won in the last twenty meters.”

A two-man break of Leonardo Tortomasi (Vini Zabù – KTM) and Veljko Stojnic (Vini Zabù – KTM) established themselves from the start of the stage, and gained a four-minute advantage.

With 50km to race, the advantage had been reduced to one minute, and Stojnic fell back to the main group.

Tortomasi continued his efforts for another 26km.

Nearing the base of the 11km climb, Victor Campenaerts (NTT Pro Cycling) and Nicola Conci (Trek – Segafredo) launch an attack, which was quickly reeled in.

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe), who won stage one and had been the overall leader, was left behind, along with Chris Froome (Team Ineos), prior to the final ascent.

The three-time Tour de France winner finished three and a half minutes behind Ewan.

Stage 5, Tuesday, finishes atop a 10km climb to Jebel Hafeet.

Stage Results
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) 4:18:18
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), at :02
3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), at :04

General Classification
1. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), 7:47:19
2. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), at :12
3. Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), at :16



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