Saturday, 27 February 2021 17:03

Staff Reporter.

Britain's Adam Yates came second on his debut for Ineos Grenadiers at the UAE Tour, despite crashing heavily.

Yates finished 35 seconds overall behind winner Tadej Pogacar after rivals slowed up to allow the 28-year-old to be treated for cuts to his face.

There appeared to be a tangle between the Ineos riders in the peloton with about 40km to go on Saturday and Yates landed face down.

Lotto-Soudal's Caleb Ewan won the final stage after a bunch sprint.

The collision happened on a straight stretch of road and Yates hit his face hard as some of his domestiques and riders from other teams fell around him. Pogacar, the 2020 Tour de France winner, had to take evasive action.

Ineos' Daniel Martinez had to abandon the race before the end of the stage.

Yates was checked over by Ineos' team doctor, Derick Macleod, on the road before getting back on the bike and continuing while having cuts dressed by the race medical car.

He has been taken to hospital for further checks, but the team say he does not appear to have suffered any injuries other than "facial abrasions".

There have been questions about how the sport deals with head injuries and potential concussions in the wake of serious incidents in all three Grand Tours last year.

In one instance, France's Romain Bardet was allowed to finish stage 13 of the Tour de France despite suffering a brain haemorrhage after a crash in which he collapsed trying to get back to his feet.

Cycling's governing body, the UCI, introduced new safety measure this year, including protocols to help ensure riders with possible concussions are dealt with adequately.

Yates battled with UAE-Team Emirates' Pogacar during the seven-day race, but was unlikely to overhaul the deficit on Saturday's flat 147km final stage from Yas Mall to Abu Dhabi Breakwater.

Before the crash, Yates and his British team tried to pull ahead of Pogacar by splitting the peloton in crosswinds on the open desert land, but his rivals were wise to the move and the group eventually bunched back together.

However, the 22-year-old Slovenian was penalised 10 seconds on Friday, along with team-mate Jan Polanc, for pushing.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome finished 47th overall for his new team Israel Start-Up Nation, 22 minutes adrift.

The 35-year-old is still recovering from multiple fractures sustained during his 2019 crash at the Criterium du Dauphine.