Filippo Ganna wins time trial as Tadej Pogacar takes race lead
Pogacar and Almeida duel for overall race lead as World Time Trial champion strikes again. Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix leave after staff member tests positive for coronavirus
Time Trial speclaist Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) was unstoppable on the 13km circuit while Tadej Pogacar and João Almeida took advantage in the overall GC. He powered to victory in the UAE Tour time trial on Monday, setting the fastest time on the flat 13km course at an average speed of 55.98kph to take his eighth-straight time trial victory.
Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) was second down 14 seconds and Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) took third a further seven seconds behind at 14:17.
This comes after yesterday's windy stage that wreaked havoc on the GC contrenders, leaving only João Almeida (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious), Chris Harper (Jumbo-Visma), Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo), and the defending champion Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) having genuine chances of competing for the final podium.
The Italian's time of 13:56, at an average of 55.98kph, was far beyond the reach of any other effort set on the course, with Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) taking second place at 14 seconds. Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) took third a further seven seconds back at 14:17.
Stage winner Filippo Ganna said, "It’s not easy. Every race is hard because everyone arrives with focus and good legs but my body was ready today. This is a fantastic result for me and the team."
"It’s strange in the middle of the dessert but it’s really nice. This is my first time in the UAE Tour and at the moment I’m really happy and I hope to have good legs for future races like Tirreno-Adriatico in the next months."
"Every TT is a test for me and I try to arrive better and better. It’s really important. It’s a high-speed race around 55/56kph and it’s hard but I’m happy to be here. Vincenzo is a big champion. Having him in front of me was really stimulating. I tried to catch him before the finish but he was just ahead of me."
Tuesday's 3rd stage heads into the mountains with the mountain finish atop Jebel Hafeet, a 10km long ascent that peaks over 1000m above sea level. Cycling fans can expect to a battle for the Red Jersey on the mountain pass as the race’s strongest climbers will look to take the stage honors.
Mathieu van der Poel and Alpecin-Fenix out of UAE Tour after COVID positive
The Alpecin-Fenix team of Mathieu van der Poel has withdrawn from the UAE Tour. The news comes less than 24-hours after van der Poel had roared to sprint victory in the race’s opening stage Sunday.
“The team was notified of one positive result of a member of its staff from the round of tests conducted on Sunday evening, 21st of February,” read a statement from race bosses ahead of stage 2, Monday.
“Upon receiving the results, the person immediately went into isolation, and all those who came into contact with this person are self-isolating, in compliance with the protocol measures put in place by the race organizers and UAE Health Authorities. All team members will undertake further tests in the coming days, while they remain in isolation.”
VIDEO: 2021 UAE Tour Stage 2 Highlights
2021 UAE Tour Stage 2 ITT Top 10
1 Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers 0:13:56
2 Stefan Bissegger (Swi) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:14
3 Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:21
4 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:24
5 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:30
6 Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Qhubeka Assos 0:00:32
8 Stefan De Bod (RSA) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:33
9 Daniel Martinez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:36
10 Matthias Brandle (Aut) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:00:38
2021 UAE Tour GC after Stage 2
1 Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 4:00:05
2 Joao Almeida (Por) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:05
3 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:18
4 Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:33
5 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:39
6 Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:41
7 Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:45
8 David Dekker (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:46
9 Michael Morkov (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:47
10 Mattias Jensen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:48