Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) took his first WorldTour victory of the season on Monday, beating Caleb Ewan by a hair’s breadth on the first day of the UAE Tour .
It was the latter who celebrated over the line in Al Mirfa, before the race jury reviewed the photo finish images and declared Merlier the victor.
“In the end, it was really close,” the Soudal Quick-Step sprinter said after the race. “They waited, I think, for sure 15 minutes to decide to won, but I’m really proud I could take the victory here.
“Everyone was suffering in the end and the team did a great job to do a good lead-out,” he continued. “I need to say thank you to Remco [Evenepoel] also because he did a really great ride today. He was so strong. I think he will suffer a lot tomorrow.”
Road world champion Evenepoel was one of the driving forces in a 13-rider move that wriggled off the front with 30km to go. The 23-year-old then rode hard on the front to stretch out over a minute’s lead on his GC rivals, ultimately finishing in eighth place on the stage.
Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) finished third, having cleverly manoeuvred himself on the right side of the day’s splits. How it happened
With the wind howling in the desert, it didn’t take long for chaos to reign over the first stage of this year’s UAE Tour. A series of crashes followed shortly after the peloton rolled out from Al Dhafra Castle, […]
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