Sam Bennett second on final sprint stage of UAE Tour
The last chance for the fast men came today on the 166km course that took the riders to the familiar finish at Abu Dhabi Breakwater. The breakaway trio had no chance on the parcours that was tailored to the sprinters, and with 10km remaining, the jostling for position among the sprinter teams began. On the finishing straight, Sam Bennett found a gap on the left-hand side of the road, latched onto T. Merlier's rear wheel, but was ultimately unable to overtake the Belgian, and took second place.
01 T. Merlier 3:41:12
02 S. Bennett +0:00
03 D. Groenewegen +0:00
From the Finish Line
"The sprints today and yesterday were pretty hectic. There's tough competition in this race among the different sprint leadouts, but the guys did a fantastic job on both days, and we arrived at the finale in the perfect position. Unfortunately there are so many sprinters competing for the win here, and some guys take a risk and go early and ultimately get the reward. It's hard to respond to so many sprinters in the fast finishes. But we'll be back up and running in the next bunch sprint in the next races." - Sam Bennett
"Of course we wanted to take the win today and there was potential to achieve more. We may have waited a second too long. We knew in advance that there would be a headwind on the finishing straight, which would make the sprint more difficult. But Merlier was simply faster today. The legs were there, but we have to try to do better next time. Tomorrow there's a mountain finish and Ben and Emu are very motivated for the last stage. On the first few days we had temperatures around 22 degrees, but today it was very hot, at about 37 degrees and we hope it will be more comfortable tomorrow." - Bernhard Eisel, Sports Director