A nervous start saw a huge crash wipe out almost half the peloton immediately after the flag dropped with both Alessandro De Marchi and Patrick Bevin involved as up ahead, out of the simultaneous battle to make the breakaway, Adam Hansen (Lotto – Soudal) went solo.
The peloton slowed considerably to allow those riders caught up in the crash to regain contact. However, while De Marchi was able to make it back across to the field, Bevin was unfortunately forced to stop racing. An update from CCC Team doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria is provided below.
When racing eventually resumed at the front of the peloton, De Marchi was one of the first riders to try to force a move before Rosskopf went clear as part of a successful chasing group that joined Hansen with 145 kilometers, of the 181-kilometer course, to go.
At the 100-kilometer to go mark, Rosskopf and his fellow seven breakaway riders were sitting over five minutes ahead of the peloton, and their advantage continued to grow as further tension in the bunch saw another crash, this time involving De La Parte and Lukasz Owsian, split the field momentarily.
The six remaining leaders, including Rosskopf, were over nine minutes ahead of the peloton with 50 kilometers to go and the final 20.6-kilometer long climb of Jebel Jais, the highest peak of the United Arab Emirates, on the horizon.
As the road began to rise towards the base of the climb, which had an average gradient of 5.4 percent and pitches of up nine percent in places, Rosskopf and company were still holding onto a sizable advantage of more than five minutes.
However, the gap fell further and eventually, as the gradient began to take its toll on the breakaway, just Rosskopf remained at the head of the race and a strong performance from the US National Time Trial Champion saw him hold off the reduced main bunch right up to the two-kilometer to go mark.
De La Parte and De Marchi were both holding onto their position in the reduced main bunch at this point but, after being caught up in separate crashes during the stage, they lost contact when the battle intensified going under the flamme rouge.
In the end, the stage win came down to a drag race for the line with Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) taking the day’s honors and extending his overall lead.
Meanwhile, De La Parte dug deep in the closing meters of the stage and was CCC Team’s first rider across the line, finishing 42 seconds behind the race leader. The Spaniard now sits 14th overall on the General Classification going into tomorrow’s final stage.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I felt good today and I was happy I could test myself. It was a really nice group of riders to be riding with, and there was a few big guys with us who could fight the wind well. I think everyone was motivated to be out of the bunch for a change and be part of the action.”
“We were working well together, and our gap went out to over nine minutes. Everyone, for the most part, was willing to go for it. We weren’t turning as well as we had been earlier when we got around ten kilometers from the climb. I don’t know if that was because everyone was getting tired or if people were starting to think ahead but, we lost a good chunk of time there. That was maybe also because of the teams behind starting to race for a good position going onto the climb.”
“In the end, it’s nice to know that I was the strongest out of the group. It makes me wonder if I should have maximized the pace and gone on my own a little earlier. After Tratnik attacked, he wasn’t helping that much and I thought he was playing with me a little, but it’s hard to say. Plus the climb wasn’t too steep so actually staying with a group of guys for as long as possible probably helped too.”
“To be able to do such an effort at the end of a race does give me some confidence but it also gives me more motivation as I think I can continue to improve my form here.”
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:
“It was very windy today, but when both of the crashes happened, there was no big fight happening so, it was really unfortunate for us and a lot of other teams who had guys go down. We had four riders in crashes and Paddy had to stop, unfortunately, so luck definitely wasn’t on our side today.”
“Joey did a super job in the breakaway though. He stuck to the plan, and he almost made it. It was great to watch, and I think everyone was pretty impressed with how he rode the 20-kilometer final climb. He definitely deserved the win, but the guys behind him were flying, and with the field racing here, there was no guarantee, even when the gap was out to over nine minutes, that the breakaway would make it.”
“Victor did a really great job at the end as well especially considering he was part of the second crash. He climbed the best he could and although he slipped out of the top ten, I think we have to take some positives out of that after the day we experienced.”
CCC Team doctor, Dr. Daniele Zaccaria:
“Unfortunately Paddy was involved in the crash in the opening kilometers of today’s stage, and he was forced to stop racing. He suffered some abrasions, including a deep one on his left elbow but fortunately, at the moment, it looks like there are no serious injuries. He was experiencing some pain in his ribs immediately after the crash so we will continue to monitor h, but we do not expect him to have to have any time off the bike.”
“Alessandro De Marchi, Victor De La Parte, and Lukasz Owsian all suffered abrasions after their respective crashes but they were able to finish the race and, unless there are any unforeseen complications, they will be on the start line tomorrow.”
Stage 6: Ajman > Jebel Jais (180km)
Top 3: 1. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) 3. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ)
CCC Team Top 3: 24. Victor De La Parte 27. Joey Rosskopf 30. Alessandro De Marchi