“Go Go Go”: Kraak Defies Sprinters to Triumph in UAE Tour Women Stage 4

By Monica Buck

In an electrifying conclusion to the UAE Tour Women, Amber Kraak of FDJ-Suez clinched a victory in Stage 4, leaving the sprinters in her wake in Abu Dhabi. Kraak’s solo effort in the final moments of the race marked a significant achievement as she outpaced the peloton, including the fast-approaching Lorena Wiebes of SD Worx-Protime, to secure her first WorldTour solo win. Despite SD Worx-Protime’s overall success with Lotte Kopecky securing the overall victory, they fell short of a complete dominance in stage wins, thanks to Kraak’s exceptional performance.

The race’s pivotal moment unfolded as Kraak joined forces with three other riders early on, creating a breakaway that would define the day’s racing dynamics. The quartet, including Kraak, Margarita Misyurina of Tashkent City, Monica Greenwood of Team Coop-Repsol, and Sophie Wright of Fenix-Deceuninck, rapidly established a lead, at one point extending it to three minutes. Their collaboration was crucial as they navigated the 105km course that started at the iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi, weaving through the city’s islands and concluding at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater.

As the race progressed, the breakaway’s advantage began to wane, but not quickly enough for the chasing peloton, largely led by SD Worx-Protime. The decisive moment came when the breakaway group began to disintegrate, with Greenwood and Wright unable to sustain the pace set by Kraak. With the peloton breathing down her neck, Kraak powered through the final kilometers, maintaining a slender lead.

Kraak’s determination was palpable as she recounted the tense final moments, stating, “I heard my teammates and team car in the radio saying ‘Go go go’ so I knew it was really tight and I didn’t dare to celebrate or look back.” Her victory was not only a testament to her strength but also a strategic triumph, as she capitalized on the moment when her breakaway companions faltered.

The race was not without its challenges, as the peloton, energized by teams like Uno-X Mobility and UAE Team ADQ, mounted a fierce chase in the concluding kilometers. A late crash within the peloton added to the drama, but Kraak remained unfazed, crossing the finish line just ahead of the sprinters, with Wiebes leading the charge.

Stage 4 results

  1. Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ) – 02:27:33
  2. Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx-Protime) – +00
  3. Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) – +00
  4. Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) – +00
  5. Valentine Fortin (Cofidis Women Team) – +00
  6. Rachele Barbieri (Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL) – +00
  7. Anniina Ahtosalo (Uno-X Mobility) – +00
  8. Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka (CANYON//SRAM Racing) – +00
  9. Clara Copponi (Lidl-Trek) – +00
  10. Laura Tomasi (Laboral Kutxa-Fundacion Euskadi) – +00

General classification results

  1. Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx-Protime) – 11:16:51
  2. Neve Bradbury (CANYON//SRAM Racing) – +13
  3. Mavi Garcia (Liv AlUla Jayco) – +44
  4. Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) – +59
  5. Marion Bunel (St Michel-Mavic-Auber 93) – +01:16
  6. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Fenix-Deceuninck) – +01:20
  7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) – +01:25
  8. Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) – +01:45
  9. Mareille Meijering (Movistar Team) – +01:45