UAE Tour 2021, February 21 - February 27

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Sep 28, 2014
Swap one of the flat stages for Hatta Dam and this is slowly becoming a good race, parcours-wise.

All the big sprinters seem to be going as usual, though, so a lot of opportunities for them is not necessarily a bad thing.
It could also use a mountain-stage with a valley finish.
It appears most of the GC teams decided that they had no shot at the podium so who cares about the other positions. I wouldn't be surprised with so many races already being moved a lot of riders decided they had no interest in using energy for what they likely see as no worthwhile results. Tomorrow I suspect there will be teams attempting to figure out what Ganna and maybe Pogacar's best time in peak condition is and figure out an approximate time you need to finish in to stay in the race and that's what the vast majority of riders will be doing. Basically tomorrow will be nothing but a glorified training session for most riders. At this rate I suspect most are going to take the entire rest of the race as a glorified training camp.
Valverde says "Oi!, top tens are my forte"
Why did nobody spot VdPoel deviating quite severely from his line in the sprint? Should he not have been demoted?
It's only a violation when you deviate while an upcoming rider or rider beside you is hindered.
In this case, that didn't happen. MvdP was leading the sprint with no riders coming close. In theory he could have gone left / right / left and not violating any rule.
Hardly. In 2020 I would've bet the house he missed the first echelon on a day like that, it's impressive he made it. After a day like this it's not a normal sprint.
Looking at the numbers for Pogacar, it doesn't seem like it was a super hard stage.

But on further reflection, I would say that I was needlessly harsh on Viviani, so hopefully things only get better from here.
Why did nobody spot VdPoel deviating quite severely from his line in the sprint? Should he not have been demoted?
General misconception about the deviation rule there. You can change your line as long as it is not dangerous. He cleared everyone and there was nobody directly behind he could have endangered. Thus it is perfectly legal. Confusion, but that's the rule. It only matters once endangering others.

You have to understand this is also normal, because otherwise sprinting would be impossible (eg changing line to pass somebody). But also once you're clear, you're free to chose whatever.
Reactions: Volderke
So, something weird about the start order time for the ITT. Apparently this is the start order. However, apart from the top-10 it's not the GC in reverse. Of course, it's rather unlikely that it'll suddenly start raining, so everyone should get the same conditions anyway.
Reactions: Sandisfan
Reactions: Sandisfan
Bla. But you have to respect the rules in this case. I see lots of photos of staff members in very close contact with riders after races -- given that new variants are very highly transmissable, you could see how riders could become infected...
Well that's really how you want to look at it. Over 13k, that's really only 4 tighter turns and a few mild or short ones. I think even the tightest bend, central on the map might still be huge. This has twice the length of an average F1 circuit, so that should put the bends into perspective.
Looking at it now live it's true, these bends seem a lot oelss twisty, I think they don't even have to move their hands away from the tri bars at any time.