2022 UAE Tour Stage 2 Preview

Hudayriyat Island > Abu Dhabi Breakwater 176.4km

The second stage is that should end in a sprint, but you just never know.


Hot and windy. The wind will come from the north-west and will be around 25-30km/h. That is well enough to cause splits. There are a few crosswind sections in the opening 90km. The problem is that after this we have a lot of headwind.


Another straight finish, at least this one has a turn with 1.4km to go. We saw today that it’s very difficult to get these finishes right, it takes a lot of luck.


Some teams will split the race in the crosswinds, it’s bound to happen, but we’ll have to wait and see if it comes back together. The long section of headwind would usually mean that the race would come back together, but that depends on what the peloton looks like. If the race is split into many groups, the front group will stay away. There is no definite when it comes to echelons in this part of the world, but as this is the only stage where we might see echelons, I think it will happen.


Jasper Philipsen – took a great win today, he’s picked up where he left off at the end of 2021. He won’t mind a windy day, he’s Belgian after all. His team should also be able to cope with echelons, so Philipsen has a good chance of taking another win.

Mark Cavendish – QuickStep don’t have a team full of big powerhouses, but they do have experience. Cav is very good at riding in echelons, it would be a surprise if he didn’t make the front split. He was in a good position today but got boxed in at the last minute and couldn’t sprint. He’ll be hopeful of winning this stage.

Dylan Groenewegen – in the frenetic finish, he lost the wheel of Luca Mezgec, but managed to come from deep with pace. He didn’t get past Philipsen, but you could see that Groenewegen is looking fast. I’m not too sure how he’ll get on in the echelons, having a full team to support him will be a big benefit.

Sam Bennett – he downplayed his own chances in this race, but his second place today was very impressive. If it’s full gas racing from the start, we might find he suffers a little due to his current shape not being 100%.

Elia Viviani – won a stage in Provence that featured echelons, so he’s got form. One issue could be the presence of Adam Yates, if it turns into a GC day then all Ineos riders will have to help protect Yates.

Tadej Pogačar – you just never know! UAE will need to make the front split and we all know he’s got a fast finish.

Filippo Ganna – we saw how strong he was in Provence, if we get echelons expect to see him keeping Adam Yates out of trouble. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. If the front group is relatively small, it would make sense for him to attack near the end of the stage and try to win solo. However, if Viviani makes the split, he’ll ride for him.

Prediction Time

Despite not having a long train, I’ll take a win for Mark Cavendish.