The World Tour calendar started this Sunday with the first stage of the UAE Tour (2.UWT, 20-26/02), which ended in the expected bunch sprint. The peloton lined up in Madinat Zayed to cross the desert towards the oasis of Liwa, before making a U-turn and return to where they started after 184 kilometer.
Despite the danger of the wind, the opening stage resulted in a classic race scenario with an early breakaway of five riders who were caught with 19 kilometer to go. Just like one week before in the Tour of Oman, Tom Devriendt was the designed rider for the final. The Belgian rider squeezed through the sprint trains and took ninth place.