Pascal Ackermann wins furious opening sprint stage at the UAE Tour
Bora-Hansgrohe's Pascal Ackermann held off his rivals including Caleb Ewan to win on the opening sprint stage at the UAE Tour
The German rider launched a blistering sprint off the back on the Mitchelton-Scott lead-out train and held off an approaching Caleb Ewan to take the sprint.
Rudy Barbier (Israel Start-Up Nation) was third ahead of sprint ace Dylan Groenwegen (Jumbo-Visma).
Arnaud Demare, Sam Bennett, Fernando Gaviria and Mark Cavendish all finished outside the top 10.
Ackermann moved into the race lead of the weeklong UAE Tour and told the press, "I'm super happy with this victory because almost all the top sprinters are here and I wasn't sure if my shape was good enough to beat them all," Ackermann said soon after the finish.
"Now I know that my shape is good and we can take it easy the next few days and have a look at what goes on during the week.
"It was a really hectic and nervous sprint in which I was jumping from one guy's wheel to another one. I was swimming from one guy to the next one but when I saw my chance I told myself to go. I took my chance at the right time. Everyone was really strong. I surprised them by starting my sprint with 300 metres to go."
VIDEO: 2020 UAE Tour Stage 1 Highlights
2020 UAE Tour Stage 1 Top 10
1 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 3:29:19
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3 Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation
4 Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
5 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-Scott
6 Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team Sunweb
7 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
8 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) NTT Pro Cycling
9 José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
10 Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale