Sam Bennett of Deceuninck-QuickStep burst through a bunch finish to take Stage 4 of the UAE Tour at Al Marjan Island on Wednesday.
The Irishman edged out Dutch rider David Dekker of Jumbo-Visma and Lotto Soudal’s Australian Caleb Ewan to celebrate his 50th win of his professional career and first bunch sprint of the season.
UAE Team Emirates' Colombian Fernando Gaviria finished ninth after keeping in touch right up to the sprint finish.
“It’s really good to have won because I had to wait a few days to get the opportunity,” Bennett said.
“I was really nervous before the sprint – it was my first bunch sprint of the season. Fortunately, I only had to follow the guys. They did as fantastic job, each one of them. It’s great to finish it off today.
“This is my 50th pro win; it’s really nice to get that first win of the season. I could see they were going to the right and the right was the shortest line but I couldn’t risk going up and having to hit the brakes, so I had to go the longest way around. Fortunately I could carry enough speed.”
Bennett got a fine tow from teammate Michael Morkov, who produced another brilliant lead-out, to take the Irishman with him for his teammate to storm clear by the barriers.
Dekker was slightly disrupted as Bennett opened up but produced a huge surge to take second from Ewan ahead of the Italian pair Elia Viviani of Costidis and Trek-Segarfredo’s Matteo Moschetti.
There was no change in the overall standings as the UAE Team Emirates rider Tadej Pogacar retained the red jersey from the defending champion Adam Yates ahead of tomorrow’s 170km Stage 5, which starts from Fujairah International Marine Club before heading to the summit finish on Jebel Jais.
“It was a pretty long and hot day in the saddle,” Pogacar, the Stage 4 winner said. “I think we all felt the consequences of yesterday's stage. Today it was more relaxed, but still very fast in the finale.
“It was a shame that our sprinter Fernando Gaviria didn't win, but we have another opportunity tomorrow. The next stage is going to be super hard. We all know how strong Adam Yates is. I hope to have good legs again.”