Day three of the Dubai Tour and strong crosswinds were forecast to threaten the peloton throughout the stage.
Following the 6km neutral zone riders remained on high alert, cautious of any movements in the peloton. Straight out of the blocks, Sam Williams escaped off the front of the bunch with a group of 4 others but the peloton weren’t happy with the composition and quickly closed it down.
When the official break of the day had formed Joshua Hunt and Hayden McCormick made an attempt to jump across and join the 4 leaders but they too were stopped in their tracks. The peloton shut down, spreading across the motorway and allowing the break to extend its advantage to a maximum of 7 minutes.
At 69km the riders were faced with strong crosswinds which whipped up the desert sand causing low visibility. Almost immediately a large crash at the front of the bunch split the peloton to pieces, causing several groups to form. Eventually as riders clawed their way back through convoy in the sandstorm, there were two distinct groups almost 1 minute apart. However once through the feed, a truce was called and both groups came back together in an attempt to close down the leaders.
With 80km remaining the break had a gap of 3 minutes, so the peloton allowed the leaders to extend their advantage before steadily reeling them in with only 8km to go.
Closing in on the finish, ONE Pro Cycling were aiming to set up Steele Von Hoff for the sprint home, moving the Australian sprinter up towards the front of the bunch. With 2km to go, Von Hoff still had 3 team mates around him however didn’t quite manage to deliver him inside the top 10 as another fast and furious sprint opened up.
Once again, it was another superb effort from the team on a difficult stage, with Steele Von Hoff picking up 13th on the line and Tom Stewart currently sitting in 8th position on GC.