Sam Bennett takes victory in chaotic finale on stage four of the UAE Tour 2021

The Irishman came through late to take victory ahead of some of the world's best sprinters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sam Bennett took the win in a very chaotic sprint finish on stage four of the UAE Tour 2021 beating the young Dutch sprinter David Dekker and Australian Caleb Ewan.

Bennett (Deceuninck - Quick-Step) took the fastest line into the finish as they came round a gradual left hand bend with Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) picking the wrong side.

Dekker (Jumbo-Visma) was following the wheel of Bennett in the final moments and did get blocked a little bit but managed to use the slipstream of the Irishman to take yet another very impressive second place.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) keeps the red leader's jersey with no issues as the general classification doesn't see any change.

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How it happened

Image by La Flamme Rouge

The stage started and finished on the island of Al Marjan with a huge loop of 204.1km over a pan flat course that only saw two riders go up the road.

Those riders were Francois Bidard (Ag2r-Citroen) and Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), who pulled out a gap of around four minutes before the peloton slowly started to reel the break in.

Lotto-Soudal joined overall leader Pogačar’s UAE Team Emirates squad on the front to set the pace for the peloton as they worked for their sprinter, Ewan.

After the escape went away with about 80km to go, they were caught with about 28km to go, as no-one was wanting to go in the break on this long stage.

The break did take the top two spots in the two intermediate sprints with young Dutchman, Dekker taking the third place as he goes for the points jersey.

Mostly the pace was very relaxed all day as the teams just kept together and organised as they got closer and closer to the finish. Even with 12km to go the pace was relatively sedate. 

Suddenly, with 10km to go the pace rocketed up as teams challenged for positions on a very wide highway taking in a couple of huge roundabouts, as the peloton went into a five-lane road, this split the peloton in two due to the wideness with 8km to go.

The team that managed to take control with 7km to go was Astana-Premier Tech but several other teams managed to come over the top.

The road then compacted to just two lanes with 5km to go, the pace still not as high as perhaps a normal bunch sprint build up would be.

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Bora-Hansgrohe, Trek-Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates took on the control with 3km to go as the GC riders started to slip down the group thanks to the 3km rule - any crashes after that and they would not lose time.

A roundabout came up and the tight turn saw Ewan’s Lotto-Soudal come up as the lead-outs started looking very messy with 2km to go.

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the first to take up the sprint but it was too early alongside Cees Bol (Team DSM) and they got swamped, most riders started going to the right as the road swerved round to the left, but Bennett took the left hand line, which was the fastest to win.

Stage five sees the riders head to the mountains again as they are set to take on the Jebel Jais, much longer than the previously raced Jebel Hafeet but not as difficult


UAE Tour stage four, Al Marjan Island to Al Marjan Island (204.1km)

1. Sam Bennett (IRL) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, in 4-51-51

2. David Dekker (NED) Team Jumbo-Visma

3. Caleb Ewan (AUS) Lotto-Soudal

4. Elia Viviani (ITA) Cofidis

5. Matteo Moschetti (ITA) Trek-Segafredo

6. Pascal Ackermann (GER) Bora-Hansgrohe

7. Phil Bauhaus (GER) Bahrain Victorious

8. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA) Team Qhubeka-Assos

9. Fernando Gaviria (COL) UAE Team Emirates

10. Kaden Groves (AUS) Team BikeExchange, all at same time.

General classification after stage four

1. Tadej Pogačar (SLO) UAE Team Emirates, in 12-50-21

2. Adam Yates (GBR) Ineos Grenadiers, at 43 seconds

3. João Almeida (POR) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 1-03

4. Chris Harper (AUS) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-43

5. Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo, at 1-45

6. Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (DEN) Trek-Segafredo, at 2-36

7. Mattia Cattaneo (ITA) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, at 2-38

8. Damiano Caruso (ITA) Bahrain Victorious, at same time

9. Rubén Fernández (ESP) Cofidis, at 3-32

10. Fausto Masnada (ITA) Deceuninck - Quick-Step, 4-47.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.