A trio of riders attacked off the front of the peloton early into stage seven, opening up an advantage that settled at around four minutes 45 seconds with 100 kilometers of the 145-kilometer course to go.
With the race under control, the peloton happily allowed the breakaway to hold onto their advantage before, with the crosswinds picking up, starting to steadily pull the leaders back with 60 kilometers of racing remaining.
The predicted bunch sprint looked inevitable going passed the 30-kilometer to go mark, with the gap sitting at just 2 minutes 15 seconds and the peloton looking comfortable with the race situation.
In the end, the catch was made inside the final three kilometers of the race before the battle for position began leading into the tricky finale, which included two sharp corners 1.5 kilometers and 450 meters from the line.
It was an unsurprisingly fast and nervous run into the finish but, after moving up to the front just before the breakaway was reeled in, CCC Team was fighting hard to keep their sprinter, Mareczko well-positioned.
However, the intense pace mixed was a lot of movement at the front of the bunch saw gaps start to open up with Mareczko caught out after the final 90-degree turn.
The Italian sprinter gave it everything he had to try to bridge across on the home straight, but in the end, he had to settle for a top twenty finish, crossing the line 19th behind the winner, Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe).
Victor De La Parte, who suffered some bad luck yesterday when he was involved in a crash, was CCC Team’s best-placed riders on the General Classification, finishing 14th, two minutes four seconds behind Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma).
Quotes From the Finish Line
“Of course, I would have liked to have finished this race with a better result, but it was a really chaotic finale. We tried out best to stick together and keep a good position but the pace was just so high, and there was so much movement at the front that it was difficult.”
“Unfortunately, I was caught out a little bit in the final few hundred meters but, I tried to close the gap. There just wasn’t enough road left to make it over. Overall, I’ve had a couple of nice results here, and there are definitely some positives that I can take away with me. This race has also given me a lot of motivation for the future.”
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
“It was a really fast finale. It was chaotic, and even though there were only two turns, it was hard to fight for position at both of those points. There was a lot of teams, sprinters’ teams, and GC teams, up there trying to keep riders out of trouble, so it was a busy finish. It maybe wasn’t the result we were hoping for today, but overall, I don’t think we can be too disappointed with our UAE Tour.”
“We had a lot of bad luck yesterday, but overall I think we did really well this week. Of course, we wanted to win a stage, and we would have liked to have kept 8th overall, but after the crash yesterday, we, unfortunately, lost that. I think we finished the race with almost what we expected to do so while it wasn’t a super race for us, it’s not a bad race. It leaves us hungrier for more.”
Stage 7: Dubai Safari Park > City Walk (145km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (BORA – hansgrohe) 2. Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) 3. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal)
CCC Team Top 3: 19. Jakub Mareczko 30. Victor De La Parte 57. Łukasz Owsian
Top 3 on GC: Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) 3. David Gaudu (Groupama – FDJ)
CCC Team Top 3 on GC: 14. Victor De La Parte 34. Alessandro De Marchi 40. Joey Rosskopf