Groenewegen takes stage 5 at UAE Tour

Dylan Groenewegen threw down an early-season marker Friday winning stage five of the UAE Tour.

Winds have scuppered some of the expected sprint finishing this week, but Friday’s flat stage ended in a real mass bunch sprint, with the sprinters’ teams enjoying the broad roads here.

In the sprint, Groenewegen overtook Sam Bennett and held off a late charge from Fernando Gaviria.

Mark Cavendish could only manage eighth in a field packed with pretenders while Monday’s winner Tim Merlier was fifth.

Overall leader and world champion Remco Evenepoel stayed first and holds a narrow nine- second lead over Luke Plapp.

Saturday’s stage should result in a similar scenario with a flat finish and a bunch sprint expected before Sunday’s finale on the Jebel Hafeet mountain.

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