Merlier clinches the UAE Tour triple ahead of the final round at Jebel Hafeet

Next to the Abu Dhabi breakwater, where privileged people with deep pockets can enjoy exotic diving, Tim Merlier once again shone better than all his competitors at the UAE Tour. As expected, the sixth day of the Emirati round ended with a bunch sprint in which the Belgian won by a landslide. It is the fifth victory on the course for the quick-step sprinter, who will be first rider to win three stages in the same edition the UAE tour. After a doubtful 2023, it appears that Merlier is getting back to the form he was given Triumphs of enormous prestige at events such as the Tour de France, the Giro d’Italia and Paris-Nice. Leadership was carried on his shoulders for another day Jay Vine.

With a short and flat route of 138km, the UAE Tour opened the showcase of luxury to show some of its benefits. The departure took place in Abu Dhabi Louvre, the first universal museum in the Arab world. Immediately after kilometer zero, the attacks followed each other. Several groups became part of the front of the race, but in the end the group that was composed was consolidated Rickaert and Uhlig (Alpecin), fine (Cofidis), Murgano (Corratec) and the Spaniard Juanpe López. The Lebrija runner’s advance did not go unnoticed by the peloton as he was 1:12 behind leader Vine. And as if that wasn’t enough, the Lidl Trek driver made his intentions clear by winning three seconds in the intermediate sprint on the Yas Marina circuit.

And as if from one formula 1 Whatever it was, the peloton was forced to increase its pace after Juanpe effectively took the lead of the race. An illusion. The sprinters, knowing that their last chance to win the Emirates round, used all their machinery to achieve neutralization, which finally came with 12.5 km to go (Juanpe gave up a few kilometers earlier ). In the mass sprint, in which a Cavendish, who did not start due to fever, asserted his undeniable superiority over De Kleijn and Bauhaus to Merlier. Clear victory.

Jebel Hafeet, final attack

Once the pairing between Merlier and Quick-Step is confirmed as the most productive of the week, the final chapter of this UAE tour will bring us the most anticipated battle: the general classification. Everything is very open and only a few seconds separate most favorites. In one Day with a port, 161 km, the legendary climb to Jebel Hafeet will be the one who dictates the sentence: 11 km at 6.9% average. Vine defends 11 seconds from O’Connor, his closest rival Pello Bilbao (5th, at 22″) on the hunt. It doesn’t go any further.

UAE Tour Results


1. Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) – 3h 02’14”
2. Arvid de Kleijn (Tudor) – mt
3. Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain-Victorious) – mt


1. Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) – 18 hours 52:23
2. Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) with 11″
3. Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates) – 13″

5 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) – 22″

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