Adam Yates sets new record on Jabel Hafeet climb at UAE Tour

The Brit set a new fastest time and takes the record from Alejandro Valverde

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.