Mathieu van der Poel beats echelons and wins first stage of UAE Tour
Feb 21 2021 11:46 pm CET

Mathieu van der Poel beats echelons and wins first stage of UAE Tour
Mathieu van der Poel beats echelons and wins first stage of UAE Tour
Photo of Mathieu van der Poel (c)Alpecin-Fenix

Alpecin-Fenix' Mathieu van der Poel has taken the victory of the first stage at the UAE Tour and topped the lead of the General Classification.

The first stage of the Emirati race was 176 kilometres long and took the peloton between Al Dhafra Castle and Al Mirfa over a route that proved to be very challenging due to the crosswinds that manage to break the pack in several pieces. The stage was fought among a very reduced group in which Van der Poel was the fastest, taking his first victory of the season on his very first day on the road after claiming the cyclocross World title earlier on the year.

"I said I was coming here as a lead-out man but today I had good legs from the beginning," said Van der Poel. "I was able to catch the group that went away after the first intermediate sprint and the wind made the race very hard, which played in my favour.

"I finished it off in the sprint but I didn't expect this win at all. It means a lot to me to start my road season the same way I finished my cyclo-cross season."

Jumbo-Visma's David Dekker and Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Michael Morkov completed the top five of the day. Van der Poel also took the lead of the General Classification.




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