Groenewegen wins mass sprint extravaganza at UAE Tour

With many of the cycling world's best sprinters in the pack at the UAE Tour Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen threw down  an early-season marker Friday winning stage five of the UAE Tour.

Winds have scuppered some of the expected sprint finishing this week, but Friday's flat stage ended in a real mass bunch sprint, with the sprinters' teams enjoying the broad roads here.

In the sprint, Groenewegen overtook Irishman Sam Bennett and held off a late charge from Colombian Fernando Gaviria.

British veteran Mark Cavendish could only manage eighth in a field packed with pretenders while Monday's winner Tim Merlier was fifth.

Overall leader and world champion Remco Evenepoel stayed first and holds  a narrow  nine- second lead over Luke Plapp.

Saturday's stage should result in a similar scenario with a flat finish and a bunch sprint expected before Sunday's finale on the Jebel Hafeet mountain.