Villella top Movistar Team finisher at Jebel Hafeet

23 February 2021
Imagen de la noticia ‛Villella top Movistar Team finisher at Jebel Hafeet’

UAE Tour (st. 3)

Italian finishes over three minutes behind dominating Pogacar (UAD) at first mountain-top finish, as Movistar Team contenders are unable to keep up with strongest climbs.

/ Today’s route

As the GC went quite restricted to six or seven climbers who coped with Sunday’s crosswinds, the race would start to get decided on Tuesday at the mountain-top finish of Jebel Hafeet, the race’s best known climb, with its 10km at around 6% average. Before the ascent, roads were flat, wide and open.

Patxi Vila is the Movistar Team’s sports director in the Emirates this week.

/ Weather report

Winds were quite similar to previous days, with a consisten 20kph from the northwest. Temperatures also remained the same as in the opening two stages, around 27ºC.

A minute’s silence for Gary Baños at the start on Tuesday. (c) BettiniPhoto

/ Keys to the race

  • The first significant moment of the stage came before the start. The UAE Tour’s organising committee and RCS Sport had a very kind gesture towards the Movistar Team by observing a minute’s silence to remember our carer Gary Baños, who passed away last Saturday. Our seven riders were featured at the front row of the peloton during the starting procedure. We deeply thank them for such a move.
Antonio Pedrero and Gregor Mühlberger. (c) BettiniPhoto
  • The early break went from the gun, with Thomas de Gendt (LTS) and Tony Gallopin (ACT) taking on a long adventure which the peloton, at times strung out due to crosswind attempts, caught with 9km to go. The Movistar Team experienced less difficulties than in previous occassions, with Torres, Elosegui and Carretero allowing their team-mates reach the foot of the ascent near the front.
Valverde and his team-mates at the climb. (c) BettiniPhoto
  • Sadly, the Movistar Team riders will to do well wasn’t matched by their legs, as the squad’s last men standing -Valverde, Pedrero and Villella– lost contact at about 7km from the top. The Italian was the top finisher from the Blues, more than three-and-a-half minutes behind Tadej Pogacar (UAD), who proved once again his class with a resounding victory over his biggest rival of the week, Adam Yates (IGD), to retain the leader’s jersey.

/ Upcoming goals

The sprinters should be back in action on Wednesday at what could be the first real bunch sprint of this year’s race, following the splits on Sunday’s opener. A long stage four (204km) will take the riders out and back to Al Marjan Island, with no climbs on the route before Thursday’s decisive Jebel Jais ascent.

Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto

Male Team 21 - 27 Feb

UAE Tour UAE

(3rd Stage) Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet (166 km)
  1. 01 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 3h58'35"
  2. 02 Adam Yates Team INEOS "
  3. 03 Sergio Higuita EF Education First +48"
  4. 35 Davide Villella Movistar Team +3'42"
  5. 55 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +7'31"
  6. 57 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
  7. 107 Albert Torres Movistar Team +16'05"
  8. 110 Héctor Carretero Movistar Team "
  9. 112 Iñigo Elosegui Movistar Team "
  10. 113 Gregor Mühlberger Movistar Team "
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 7H58'30"
  2. 02 Adam Yates Team INEOS +43"
  3. 03 Joao Almeida Deceuninck - Quick Step +1'03"
  4. 39 Davide Villella Movistar Team +13'53"
  5. 56 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +17'02"
  6. 65 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +18'22"
  7. 95 Albert Torres Movistar Team +25'23"
  8. 102 Gregor Mühlberger Movistar Team +25'48"
  9. 103 Héctor Carretero Movistar Team "
  10. 106 Iñigo Elosegui Movistar Team +25'59"
See stage ranking