With the climbers battling it out on the previous stage finish to Jebel Jais, the sprinters had their chance to shine today with a flat finish at Dubai Harbour. It was a steady start to proceedings with a three rider breakaway escaping almost from the flag drop and quickly building up an advantage of around three minutes. With all Team DSM riders in the peloton, focus remained on staying safe, looking after each other and protecting finisher Sam Welsford for the finale.
As the kilometres ticked by, the gap to the breakaway dwindled and the catch was eventually made at five kilometres to go. Andreas Leknessund and Harm Vanhoucke did some good early positioning work, before the experienced Alex Edmondson took over as the race charged towards the flamme rouge. Edmondson dropped off last leadout Niklas Märkl who guided Welsford through the final turn, but it quickly became a chaotic sprint as some riders from another team detached themselves from their sprinter. Märkl bided his time before Welsford came through, entering the last few hundred metres in second wheel. Launching a strong sprint, Welsford gave everything to the finish and throwing his bike at the line, missing out on the win by a fraction of a wheel but still taking a great third place on the day.