Astonishing views, a devastating climbing pace and a solid twelfth place for Israel Start-Up Nation’s Ben Hermans. That was stage 3 of the UAE Tour in a nutshell.
There was not too much going on during the day; as expected, the stage was decided on the final climb.
At 10.6 kilometres in length, a 6.9% average grade, and a devastating pace set by a number of teams, Jebel Hafeet guaranteed a fight for the stage win and a shift in the general classification. Israel Start-Up Nation played the Ben Hermans card.
The Belgian climber found himself between two groups. “I was just behind one group, but I could not quite close the gap. I ended up in a chasing group, from where I won the sprint for twelfth place,” he said as he recapped his 25-minute effort upon Jebel Hafeet.
The solid performance by Hermans resulted in a 16th position in the general classification. Top-10 seems challenging, with only one day in the mountains left (stage 5).
Stage 4 is another chance to get Israel Start-Up Nation’s sprinters train on track. The stage is flat, but in the UAE that does not automatically mean a mass sprint. Even though there were no echelons in the first 150 flat kilometres today, it could very well happen tomorrow.
Photos: Bettini Photo and Sjors Beukeboom.