Adam Yates claimed a new title on his way to stage victory on stage three of the UAE Tour, setting the fastest time on the Jebel Hafeet climb.
British climber Yates was dominant on the 10.9km-long ascent, launching a blistering attack around 6km from the summit and riding away from his rivals.
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As well as taking the stage honours and the race lead, Mitchelton-Scott rider Yates toppled Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) for the fastest time to the top of the 6.8 per cent average gradient, according to climbing-records.com.
The 27-year-old hit the line in 26-10, setting an average speed of 24.99km/h.
That time is 15 seconds faster than the previous best time of 26-25, set by Valverde and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) on stage five of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour, when Valverde took the stage on his way to overall victory. Valverde and López set an average speed of 24.76km/h.
The record may not stand for long however, as riders who missed out will have a second chance to tackle the climb again in this year’s UAE Tour.
Organisers announced earlier this month that that planned finish on Jebel Jais on stage five will be replaced with a second summit on Jabel Hafeet because of road works.
Cycling stats organisation Velon also offered an insight into the effort Yates put in to set the new time on stage three.
His 5.2km-long attack lasted 7-05, and he held an average power of 400 watts for that period, or 6.8 watts per kilogram for his 58kg build.
Speaking after his stage win, Yates said: “It is my first race of the season, so it was difficult for me to estimate where I stood compared to the competition. Certainly with today’s heat, it’s difficult to estimate, I think it was 37 to 38 degrees all day. I just wanted to test the legs to see where I am.
“That was perhaps a little too early [to attack], but I felt good. A few boys came along and behind me I could see that they organised themselves. I just went for it then.
“We have to climb this climb again and maybe my legs are not so good then.”