“Our priority still remains to win the general classification” - UAE Tour leader Jay Vine on UAE Team Emirates’ strategy after Adam Yates abandons

Having taken the overall lead of the UAE Tour from his UAE Team Emirates teammate Brandon McNulty on stage 3 to Jebel Jais, Jay Vine is looking to hold on to the leader’s red jersey until the end of the race, with the queen stage to Jebel Hafeet still yet to come on stage 7.

However, the team’s hopes of taking the overall victory did take a hit on stage 3, as Adam Yates, who won the UAE Tour in 2020, abandoned due to a concussion sustained in a heavy crash before the climb to the finish.

Yates had been the favourite to take the overall victory ahead of the race and his departure means that UAE Team Emirates have lost a key member of their three-pronged attack, with only Vine and McNulty left to defend the lead.

On the team’s strategy for the remainder of the race, “our priority still remains to win the general classification”, said Vine in an interview after stage 4 to Dubai Harbour. “Not much has changed in terms of strategy. It’s just different that I am now the rider in the lead”.

It was a fairly relaxed stage for the Australian rider on stage 4, as he said in his interview that “during the first part of the stage it was very quiet, I could take the time to look at the buildings around us. We stayed together well as a team and I always had Vegard Stake Laengen close by in case something went wrong”.

The team had started the day with hopes of winning the stage with Juan Sebastián Molano, who won on the same finish at last year’s race. However, Molano would finish twelfth on the stage, with Vine stating that “it’s a shame that we didn’t win the bunch sprint in Dubai like we did last year”, after he finished safely in the bunch to maintain his overall lead.

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