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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Confidence, drive and pursuit of early win for UAE Tour Super Bowl sprinters


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JEBEL JAIS, UAE (Vietnam) – “If you win here, in this game, so early on, you know you’re going to have a good season.”

Caleb Ewan is one of a long line of fast finishers vying for a big early win on the World Tour this week. trip to the uae.

Winning this Super Bowl sprinter brings more than a trophy and a line Track record. On the February stacking field, the “W” in the column can sow the seeds to reap victories across the summer.

“Victory gives you confidence, and confidence gives you victory,” Ivan told Velo News in Khalifa Port.

“The first one is always the hardest to get, and once you get going, it gets easier. But the longer you go without winning, the more pressure you have, so it gets harder and harder.”

Ewan joins Mark Cavendish, Tim Merlier, Sam Bennett, Elia Viviani, Dylan Groenewegen and six elite players from Emirates.

Almost all teams arriving in Abu Dhabi will have the option to compete in the four flat finals of the sprinters summit.

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The UAE Tour is a taste of the season’s spring classics and big sprints of the big tours, and a chance to benchmark against the best.

“I’ve won it, but this race is different. Most of the best sprinters are here, so if you win here, it shows that you’re in great shape,” said Gronewegan, who won the race this season. scored in the first game.

“It’s a very important race for people like us. It gives us all something to work on for the Tour de France.”

Leg speed and leads

Groenewegen won on his Saudi debut of the season. (Photo: Getty)

A decade later, the modern sprint field is tighter than ever, with only the tiniest few in control.

Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, André Greipel and Alexander Kristoff took turns being called the fastest finishers.

Fast forward to 2022 and while Fabio Jakobsen has the most wins with 13, Olav Kooij, Jasper Philipsen and Arnaud de Lie are not far behind. Four different riders won group kicks at the Tour de France that year, with only Philipson winning more than once.

When body levels are this close, early momentum can last for months in an onslaught environment that favors ruthlessness and a healthy risk appetite.

“I’ve always felt that it’s important to win early in the season – it affects everything you play for months,” Viviani told Velo News at the pre-match press conference.

“The first win gives you confidence, it gives confidence to the others, it energizes you. When you feel good, you’re 20 meters, 50 meters ahead. You go to the line with a different energy.”

This energy extends to the entire team, from the pregame briefing to the dinner table. Crucially, it diffuses into the pinout cell.

Jayco-AlUla was brilliant in the early game at Groenewegen, giving the Dutchman victory on their season debut.

The Australian crew is now free from the stress and strategy sessions of reconfiguring the carriages.

“If you can win at the start of winter or spring, it’s good for the staff and the frontrunners,” Groenewegen said. “Then, you know things are going well and they feel like they’re in control. They know it’s working, there’s no question about it.”

‘Sprinters are like footballers. If you miss the goal, that’s a problem’

Caleb Iwan congratulates Tim Merrill after first stage of UAE Tour
Merlier maintained his early-season momentum in the pack sprint. (Photo: Dario Belingheri/Getty Images)

The UAE Tour has yet to see its first sprint after a dramatic day in crosswinds on Monday.

Merlier reaped his winning form on Monday as he steered Quick-Step out of the group for its sixth win of the season.

“It’s always good to start the season with a win, last year I didn’t have a straight win and I had to wait until Tirenno-Adriatico. Now I’ve got two [on the road] and a cross country race,” Merlier told the press. “It’s been a really good start for me. “

Three consecutive UAE stages from Thursday to Saturday provided Viviani, Ewan, Groenewegen and others with the chance for a tense, impressive victory in the first WorldTour sprint of the season.

Wins this week at the dunes and downtown could shape the sprinter’s story for months to come.

“A sprinter is like a football player, if you miss goals, that’s a problem because it makes you feel mentally and physically wrong,” Viviani said.

“If the head is gone, it can go. But if the head is there, good things will happen.”


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