First mountaintop finish at the UAE Tour brings fifth place for Rafal Majka and seventh for Patrick Konrad
The 3rd day of this year’s UAE Tour was the first real test for the general classification contenders. Over a distance of 184 km, the stage started with a long, flat stretch through the desert before the riders had to contend with the Jebel Hafeet climb, an ascent of almost 11 km, with an average gradient of 6 percent. Four escapees led the race for much of the day while the peloton took it a bit easier until the beginning of the final ascent. Unfortunately, Emanuel Buchmann was caught in a crash after 63 km. Emanuel suffered bruises and abrasions but could continue the race. However, due to his injuries, BORA-hansgrohe had to switch the team’s tactics and focus on Rafal Majka and Patrick Konrad as the two main riders for the general classification. They both performed well and stayed in a good position together with most of the other GC favourites throughout most of the climb. While Adam Yates dominated the finale of an extremely testing stage with a solo attack, Rafal crossed the line in 5th position, 1:30 minutes behind Yates, after attacking the first chasing group in the last kilometres. Patrick secured a good 7th place, 1:56 minutes behind.
01 A.Yates 4h42’33”
02 T.Pogacar + 1’03”
03 A.Démare + 1’30”
04 D.Gaudu s.t.
05 R.Majka s.t.
07 P.Konrad + 1’56”
From the Finish Line
"This was the first real test on an uphill finish for me this season and I think I rode a very strong race. Especially in the upper part of the final climb I felt good and I could even attack the group I was riding in. I would like to thank the team for their support, the time gaps are still very small and we will now do everything we can to reach the podium." – Rafal Majka
"I’m happy that my legs felt very good throughout the whole day. When Rafal launched his attack in the final kilometres, I stayed behind to control the chasing group which worked pretty well. I’m happy with my 7th place, it’s just sad that Emanuel could not show his good form because of his crash. Otherwise, we probably would have three riders now who could fight for the podium in the general classification." – Patrick Konrad
"We achieved a very strong result for the team today even though Emanuel’s crash dampened an otherwise successful race. We still tried our best to bring our riders into a good position for the final climb. Rafal and Patrick both performed very well, Adam Yates and Tadej Pogačar were just too strong today. Regarding Emanuel, we will now carry out further medical checks and decide tomorrow how to continue, depending on how he feels" – Enrico Poitschke, Head Sports Director