UAE Tour: Chris Froome adrift on debut as Mathieu van der Poel leads

Mathieu van der Poel wins stage one
Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel (left) prevailed in a sprint finish

Britain’s Chris Froome made a quiet start in his first race for Israel Start-Up Nation as Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won stage one of the UAE Tour.

Froome, 35, making his debut after January’s Vuelta San Juan was called off, is eight minutes 39 seconds back.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar was sixth, eight seconds adrift.

Froome’s fellow Briton Adam Yates, the defending champion who is making his debut for the Ineos Grenadiers this week, crossed the line in 12th place.

Yates is braced to lose time in Monday’s 13km time trial around Al Hudayriyat Island, before the climbing tests to come on Tuesday and Thursday, but will now begin the day in a stronger position than expected, 13 seconds off the lead.

With bonus seconds applied, Van de Poel leads overall by four seconds from compatriot David Dekker.

Van de Poel, who defended his cyclo-cross World Championship title last month, out-sprinted Dekker in the last 50 metres after the peloton was broken and crosswinds wreaked havoc on the 176km stage from Al Dhafra Castle to Al Mirfa.

Elsewhere, British 2020 Giro d’Italia champion Tao Geoghegan Hart claimed second on the third and final stage of the Tour du Haut Var in France.

Italy’s Gianluca Brambilla won the mountainous 136km route, which started and ended in Blausasc, to claim the overall title from overnight leader Michael Woods by five seconds.

Ineos rider Geoghegan Hart, who crashed on stage one, finished 10th overall, 26 seconds back on Brambilla.

UAE Tour stage 1 result:

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 3hrs 45mins 37secs

2. David Dekker (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) Same time

3. Michael Morkov (Den/Deceuninck – Quick Step) “

4. Emils Liepins (Lat/Trek – Segafredo) “

5. Elia Viviani (Ita/Cofidis) “

6. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE-Team Emirates) “

7. Anthony Roux (Fra/Groupama – FDJ) “

8. Chris Harper (Aus/Team Jumbo-Visma) +3secs

9. Joao Almeida (Por/Deceuninck – Quick Step) “

10. Fausto Masnada (Ita/Deceuninck – Quick-Step) “

General classification:

1. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned/Alpecin-Fenix) 3hrs 45mins 37secs

2. David Dekker (Ned/Team Jumbo-Visma) + 4secs

3. Michael Morkov (Den/Deceuninck – Quick Step) +6secs

4. Joao Almeida (Por/Deceuninck – Quick Step) +7secs

5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo/UAE-Team Emirates) +8secs

6. Emils Liepins (Lat/Trek – Segafredo) +10secs

7. Elia Viviani (Ita/Cofidis) “

8. Anthony Roux (Fra/Groupama – FDJ) “

9. Damiano Carouso (Ita/Bahrain – Victorious) “

10. Chris Harper (Aus/Team Jumbo-Visma) +13secs

Others:

13. Adam Yates (GB/INEOS Grenadiers) + 13secs

34. Harry Tanfield (GB/Team Qhubeka ASSOS) +8mins 39secs

74. Mark Donovan (GB/Team DSM) “

85. Chris Froome (GB/Israel Start-Up Nation) “

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