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Harper maintains top ranking in UAE Tour, thanks to Kuss

Harper maintains top ranking in UAE Tour, thanks to Kuss

Chris Harper is still fourth in the general classification of the WorldTour race after the first mountain stage. In the stage to the Jabel Hafeet, the Australian fought his way to the finish line with the support of his American teammate Sepp Kuss.

The peloton seemed to opt for a slow pace, but the danger for echelons was always there. Two riders chose the early breakaway and were caught on the final climb by the charging peloton. Team Jumbo-Visma put climbers Vingegaard, Kuss and Harper in good position. After an intense battle on the steep flanks of the climb, Tadej Pogacar beat Adam Yates in a sprint-a-deux. For a moment, Kuss seemed to be following the numbers one and two in the classification, but he quickly settled into a helping role for Harper.

“It was a nice stage”, sports director Addy Engels said. “The threat of the wind surfaced halfway through the stage. In the end, nothing happened, but we were prepared. The team’s work towards the final climb was fine. It allowed us to begin the final in a good position. Chris is our classification rider, but we also wanted to go for the stage victory with Sepp.”

"Chris is our classification rider, but we also wanted to go for the stage victory with Sepp."

Sports director Addy Engels

The young American attacked a few times, but still had to let Yates and Pogacar go. “It turned out to be too difficult for him to follow. Then he started helping Chris to limit the damage. That worked out well. The ninth place for Chris is fine, the fourth place in the general classification is even better of course”, Engels concluded.

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