Few things get us road cycling fans more excited than the sight of multiple echelons fanned out across a stretch of tarmac. On Sunday’s stage 1 of the UAE Tour we were treated to a textbook example of such crosswind-inspired carnage.
As Raúl Banqueri highlights in his tweet above, it was at the first intermediate sprint, 112 km from the finish, that the action really kicked off. Deceuninck-QuickStep increased the pace, setting Joao Almeida up for some bonus seconds, and in that flurry of activity, the peloton started to splinter.
Realising what had happened, and that the situation was working in their favour (several GC contenders had been distanced), Deceuninck-QuickStep kept the pressure on. The lead group that emerged from that split went on to contest the stage win, with Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) taking the sprint and the overall lead (before having to leave the race).
Hopefully we see some more crosswind action in the days ahead.