- - UAE Tour 2024 Stage 4

UAE Tour 2024 Stage 4

photo credits @ UAE

Tim Merlier (Soudal-Quick Step) claimed his second stage of the UAE Tour today, emerging from a hotly contested bunch to seize the day’s honors.

In a chaotic finish marked once again by a crash involving several riders, the Belgian managed to stay clear, beating the Dutch duo of Arvid De Kleijn (Tudor) and Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease a Bike) who rounded out the podium at the end of the 168km stage around Dubai.

Meanwhile, UAE Team Emirates’ rider Jay Vine retained the overall lead, 11 seconds ahead of compatriot Ben O’Connor (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale), with three stages still to race.

Race Highlights

Early breakaway attempts got underway at the outset of today’s stage, with Mark Stewart (Corratec-Vini Fantini), who was wearing the points jersey after two days in the break already and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Dstny), eventually rising clear. From there, the pair quickly built up a sizeable advantage of three minutes after 25km of racing.

Stewart and Vanhoucke were eventually reined in with 50km to go, with the peloton keeping a moderate pace until the final 25km.

With 8km remaining, tensions began rising in the peloton, with a crash later ensnaring several Bora-Hansgrohe riders, including Danny van Poppel.

Heading into the last 750m, Merlier had just one teammate at the front with him. But, the Soudal-Quick Step rider was able to launch from Kooij’s wheel at the last moment to snatch the victory ahead of De Kleijn.

In the meantime, despite having ample lead-outs, Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco AlUla) both got lost in the final push to the line and finished outside of the top 10, as did Mark Cavendish and Sam Welsford, whose lead-out fell apart in the crash.

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