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Pogačar triumphs in final mountain showdown to defend UAE Tour title

Slovenian wins another tussle with Adam Yates on Jebel Hafeet

Tadej Pogačar won his second consecutive UAE Tour title by taking both mountain stages of the race, including Saturday’s showdown finale on Jebel Hafeet. Pogačar now has 33 career wins, the majority of them WorldTour victories.

Pogačar came into the last stage wearing the leader’s red jersey with a four-second lead over Filippo Ganna, 14 seconds over Alexandr Vlasov and 17 seconds over Adam Yates, the latter standing as the Slovenian’s main UAE Tour rival over the past three seasons.

The Course

Saturday’s finale was dead flat until Jebel Hafeet, 10.8 km of 6.6 percent average.

Seven riders flared free of the bunch on the flats, with Daryl Impey the main threat to Pogačar’s red jersey. The septet’s lead was under a minute by the foot of Jebel Hafeet.

Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium/Alpecin-Fenix) was the last fugitive standing, caught at the 7.5 km to go point, 1.5 km after Ganna faded away from the favourites group.

After Bora-Hansgrohe’s and Ineos’s work on the middle slopes, UAE-Emirates started to whip up the pace inside the final 7 km, whittling the field down to around 20 riders.

With 4 km to go Pogačar tested Yates. The Brit accelerated 800 metres later and the reigning champion nabbed his wheel. Pello Bilbao brought over Pogačar’s teammate João Almeida, who immediately attacked.

The two main players on Saturday, Adam Yates and Pogla.

When Yates went again at the red kite, Almeida and then Bilbao fell back. The Ineos rider couldn’t withstand the final kick of the very talented Slovenian.

Bilbao’s efforts put him on the final podium.

Pogačar’s next race is Strade Bianche next Saturday, where he was seventh last season.

2022 UAE Tour Stage 7
1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 3:20:24
2) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +0:01
3) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-Victorious) +0:05

2022 UAE Tour Final GC
1) Tadej Pogačar (Slovenia/UAE-Emirates) 25:38:16
2) Adam Yates (Great Britain/Ineos Grenadiers) +0:22
3) Pello Bilbao (Spain/Bahrain-Victorious) +0:48