Pello Bilbao put in a heroic effort on Jebel Hafeet, taking third place on the stage and moving onto the podium in GC.
With only two climbing stages at the UAE tour, the final stage was decisive in the overall rankings. Bilbao was placed seventh with plenty of solid climbers ranked above him ahead of the stage.
As expected, it came down to the final 10.9km climb of Jebel Hafeet, where Pello was able to follow the attacks and, with 3km to go, found himself with only first and second place in GC ahead of him while distancing the rest and securing his position on the podium.
Pello Bilbao:” I just tried to go on my rhythm, and those around me were suffering, and so I tried to go and stay on the wheel of Pogacar and Yates. It’s super nice to get on the podium here. I wasn’t expected to come here and not super prepared for this race. But I had good legs and, most importantly, a super team.”
Neil Stephens, Sports Director: ” It was a significant result today! Third atop Jebel Hafeet was not something we had really thought about and to get on the podium in GC is a testament to the hard work everyone has put in. We had to shuffle our plans around a few times before the race, but we kept going and working hard when we got here. The boys have been amazing all week through the crosswinds, and helping get Pello to the foot of the climb was outstanding.
We wanted to try to get into the top five and hadn’t imagined getting on the podium, but Pello did an excellent ride, and all the hard work has paid off!”
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