Neither Jay Vine, nor Ben O’Connor, the great winner of the UAE Tour 2024 is called Lennert Van Eetvelt. The young Belgian Lotto Dstny rider was crowned champion of the sixth edition of the Arab race by winning the final stage with the finish in Jebel Hafeet.

On the final climb of 11 kilometers in length with an average of around 7%, with intermediate percentages of more than 10%, the UAE Team Emirates men faltered, their leader Jay Vine lost the pace and was quickly dropped as well as American Brandon McNult, both of whom left the podium on the final day.

The places of honor were taken by Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto Dstny) in first place, accompanied by Australian Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team) and Spaniard Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – Victorious). Colombian Brandon Rivera (Ineos Grenadiers) had an outstanding performance and finished in eighth place.

The last fraction ended up very lively animated by four riders: the super comabivo Mark Stewart (Team Corratec-Vini Fantini), who escaped with Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Jonas Rickaert (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and the German climber Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe).

These four attackers received the blessing of the peloton and were able to build a lead of around six minutes. In the peloton, the pace was set by the UAE Team Emirates men, led by leader Jay Vine and Brandon McNulty, number three overall. The lead of Stewart, Dillier, Rickaert and Buchmann grew smaller and smaller, although the treacherous crosswind helped the breakaway last longer than expected.

Before facing the climb to Jebel Hafeet, the escapees started the first ramps with a minute advantage over the peloton which was a signal for the leading group’s best climber, Buchmann, to attack. The 2019 Tour de France number four tolerated Dillier’s company for a while, but the Swiss rider failed to keep pace with the Teuton and dropped off.

On the final stretch of the climb Decathlon AG2R took control and gradually dropped the UAE men. McNulty was soon dropped and with about seven kilometers to go Jay Vine also dropped.

In the final kilometers, Pello Bilbao was the first to overtake the tired Buchmann. For a moment, the Spaniard took the lead, but from behind reacted Lennert Van Eetvelt, Ilan Van Wilder and Michael Storer, who closed the gap again.

At two thousand meters, Van Eetvelt launched a devastating attack that left his rivals still. The young Belgian Lotto Dstny rider jumped from a distance in what turned out to be the decisive move to take the stage and the UAE race title.

Results Stage 7 | Al Ain Bait Mohammed Bin Khalifa – Jebel Hafeet (161 km)

1 Lennert Van EetveltLotto Dstny3:38:28
2 Pello BilbaoBahrain – Victorious0:22
3 Ben O’ConnorDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team,,
4 Michael StorerTudor Pro Cycling Team,,
5 Attila ValterTeam Visma | Lease a Bike,,

Ranking General

1 Lennert Van EetveltLotto Dstny22:31:18
2 Ben O’ConnorDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team0:02
3 Pello BilbaoBahrain – Victorious0:11
4 Ilan Van WilderSoudal – Quick Step0:21
5 Attila ValterTeam Visma | Lease a Bike0:34

Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico