After yesterday’s inspiring performance, Israel Start-Up Nation tried again to make the UAE race exciting.
The team took responsibility halfway into the sixth stage, forming echelons and trying to reduce the size of the peloton on the way to the final sprint on Palm Island.
Alex Dowsett said ISN knew it was possible today. “There was a lot of nervousness”, he said. “Omer kept us in a good position until the crucial moment.”
ISN had six riders in the first echelon behind the breakaway. “We made the split with other teams”, Dowsett continued. “That was a perfect piece of teamwork. It was a shame it did not work out.”
Then it was up to the ISN sprint train to make the difference.
In the final kilometers the train was well-positioned in the front. However, there were more teams battling for the small number of places.
According to DS Rik Verbrugghe it was challenging to ‘stay in line’. “It was a difficult sprint, very hectic actually,” he said.
Andre Greipel got ISN another top-10 finish. “Difficult sprints are part of the game, but we did not travel to the UAE for eighth. Tomorrow we have another chance.”
Pics: Bettini Photo & Sjors Beukeboom.