The exhibitions of Adam Yates, Nairo Quintana and Remco Evenepoel show the high level of this course start.
The second three-day ascent to Jebel Hafeet, with the triumph of Tadej Pogacar, left scenes of great battle on the Tour of the Emirates. The 21-year-old Slovenian prodigy took his revenge on Adam Yates, who on Tuesday had stunned a record in those same 10 kilometers of climb, a minute faster than his pursuers. The times of Pogacar and Yates, almost traced, represent another chapter of this start of the season in which the peloton seems to fly in each race.
“We are in February, but we are going very fast. It is getting worse and worse. This seems MotoGP, both in the flat and upwards,” said Quentin Jauregui (Ag2r), another of the protagonists of this course start in the Emirates. “I check the speed when we pass in front of a device that measures it and I knew that it could not go faster,” added the French.
The time of Tuesday of Yates in the Jebel Hafeet (26:25) meant a reduction of half a minute compared to the record of Alejandro Valverde in 2019 and 55 seconds over the one marked by Esteban Chaves in 2015. “We climbed very, very quickly and Yates crush us, “adds David Gaudu (Groupama).
Despite his exhibition, the leader of Mitchelton-Scott did not want to “Just wanted to try the legs to see. It is my first race of the season, so it is very difficult to know,” Yates said after a day at almost 38C on the thermometer .
The high competitive level of this beginning of the course was also evident two weeks ago at Mont Ventoux, where Nairo Quintana (Arka) broke a record held by Marco Pantani since 1994. The Colombian, in the third stage of the Tour de Provence , he reached the goal of Chalet Reynard at 28:12, eight seconds faster than the dreaded Pirate, leaving Thibaut Pinot unanswered.
Nor did the performance of Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck) in the Tour of the Algarve go unnoticed, with an amazing win in the time trial ahead of specialists such as Rohan Dennis or Stefan Kng. The Belgian, 20 years old, allowed himself the luxury of knocking down the favorites on the ramps of Alto da Fia. “In the last kilometer I looked at the potentiometer and had reached 1,100 watts,” revealed the young man they already compared to Eddy Merckx.
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