Tadej Pogacar beat Britain’s Adam Yates in a sprint finish to win Stage 3 at the UAE Tour, extending his general classification lead to 43 seconds.
The Tour de France champion (UAE Team Emirates) caught the Ineos Grenadiers rider, who looked to have a slight lapse in concentration, in the closing moments to take victory in the mountain stage.
Yates has jumped up to second in the overall standings ahead of Joao Almeida (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), who is over a minute behind Pogacar.
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Despite the victory, and time advantage, Pogacar insists the race is not won yet: “No, it’s still four stages (to go), anything can happen.
There’s one more climb, it’s going to be a hard battle until the end.
Pogacar was delighted with the win and said he executed his game plan to perfection.
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“I knew exactly the sprint, what I needed to do, I started early and because (there are) two corners, the guy behind - it’s hard to pass, so it was an advantage to sprint first.
“We wanted the win, we got one, it was a really tough day, kind of stressful but the team did a super, super good job.
Stage 3 Highlights: Tadej Pogacar takes control of UAE Tour
We stayed in the right spots all the race and the guys set the pace, all I had to do was respond to attacks, it was super hard, but I’m super happy to win.
Wednesday’s stage is one for the sprinters and lasts 204km (approx. 127 miles).