Jonas Vingegaard took stage victory on the Jebel Jais climb on stage five of the UAE Tour after catching Alexey Lutsenko with 250 metres to go with a very late attack by the young Danish rider.
Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) went on the attack with 500 metres to go as the peloton stalled, and bridged across to Lutsenko who had been in the breakaway all day and ended up finishing outside of the top 10 as he was completely empty.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) managed to take second ahead of his main challenger Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) who came in third after the Brit’s team was unable to split the group with no attack from Yates.
Pogačar then increases his lead over Yates by three seconds thanks to the bonus seconds on the line. The race now goes back to the flat lands and potential crosswinds to close out the race.
How it happened
The day started in Fujairah International Marine Club before riding over undulating terrain on the 168.8km route taking in 2581 metres of climbing.
A large breakaway of nine riders went away after one rider was left out on his own for about 20km at the start.
The first rider was Matthias Frank (Ag2r-Citröen) before he was joined by team-mate Larry Warbasse, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Premier Tech), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Alex Dowsett (Israel Start-Up Nation), Roger Kluge (Lotto-Soudal), Lasse Norman Hansen (Qhubeka-Assos), Kevin Colleoni (BikeExchange) and Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation).
The maximum gap was around four minutes before Ineos Grenadiers took over the pacing from UAE Team Emirates with around 50km to go, cutting the gap down to two minutes with 26km to go.
De Gendt won both intermediate sprints which meant that he took the black intermediate jersey away from Tony Gallopin (Ag2r-Citröen).
The break hit the final climb and De Gendt upped the pace which saw Hansen and Dowsett drop out of the back with Warbasse and Kluge joining soon after.
Back in the peloton, UAE Team Emirates retook the race lead after Filippo Ganna and Andrey Amador put in a huge effort to pull the break’s gap down with 18km to go when Ineos suddenly burst onto the front again.
Ineos started using Iván Sosa, Daniel Martínez and Brandon Rivera working for their leader, Adam Yates as the gap had gone back up to 2-26.
At 16km to go the break was in bits as Lutsenko attacked the remaining riders of De Gendt and Goldstein, with the Kazakhstani champion riding away.
No matter what Ineos did on the lower slopes the peloton was still solidly together with about 60 riders still there with 14km to go, only managing to bring the gap down to 1-32 to Lutsenko.
With 7km to go, Rivera was still the rider leading the peloton but the gap to Lutsenko had only dropped to 1-04. At 4km to go Ben Zwiehoff (Bora-Hansgrohe) tried to up the pace before Martínez took over for Ineos bringing the gap down to 44 seconds.
Martínez finished his effort and it was Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) who went on the attack to try and steal the stage. Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) was the next to try and bridge across the gap.
Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) decided to try and join the attacks before João Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) made a move, which saw Nibali, Vanhoucke and Poels dragged back.
Yates then pulled the Portuguese rider back with 1.5km to go with 20 or 30 riders left in the group. Vingegaard then attacked with a group of riders lower down the general classification as Lutsenko was caught by the Dane with 250 metres to go.
Vingegaard kicked again, leaving Lutsenko behind, taking the stage ahead of a fast-finishing Pogačar, Yates and Sergio Higuita (EF Education-Nippo) with Lutsenko not even managing a top 10.
UAE Tour 2021, stage five: Fujairah International Marine Club to Jebel Jais (168.8km)
1. Jonas Vingegaard (DEN) Team Jumbo-Visma, in 4-19-08
2. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, at 3 seconds
3. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at same time
4. Sergio Higuita (COL) EF Education-Nippo, at 5s
5. João Almeida (POR) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 6s
6. Nick Schultz (AUS) Team BikeExchange, at same time
7. Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 8s
8. Wout Poels (NED) Bahrain Victorious
9. Ben Hermans (BEL) Israel Start-Up Nation
10. Geoffrey Bouchard (FRA) Ag2r La Mondiale-Citroën, all at same time.
General classification after stage five
1. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, in 17-09-26
2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at 45 seconds
3. João Almeida (POR) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 1-12
4. Chris Harper (AUS) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-54
5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-56
6. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (DEN) Trek-Segafredo, at 2-47
7. Damiano Caruso (ITA) Bahrain Victorious, at 2-49
8. Mattias Cattaneo (ITA) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 4-03
9. Rubén Fernández (ESP) Cofidis, at 4-23
10. Fausto Masnada (ITA) Deceuninck – Quick-Step, at 6-40.