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Megan Armitage crashed hard, and at speed, in the final of the stage but the Irish rider had gathered herself very well at UAE Tour

By Shane Stokes

Megan Armitage bounced back from a hard crash on Friday’s second stage of the UAE Tour Women to ride well on Saturday’s summit finish of Jebel Hafeet.

The EF Education-Cannondale rider hit the deck in a dramatic fall 1.2 kilometres from the finish on Friday, her bike skidding 90 degrees to the left and sliding wheels-first into a traffic island and road sign.

It was unclear if a sudden drift left by the rider ahead of her clipped her front wheel, although one suggestion on social media was that she deliberately hit the deck in that fashion to avoid more serious injury.

Messages to her team for comment on Friday evening were unanswered and so the nature of her injuries were unclear.

Armitage bounced back on Saturday with a 23rd place finish up Jebel Hafeet, a 10.8 kilometre climb averaging 6.8 percent and featuring gradients of over ten percent.

The stage went to world champion Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx-ProTime), who took the first mountain top win.

And while Armitage was 3’51 back, she was best placed of her team, with Paris-Roubaix winner Alison Jackson next home, eight minutes behind new race leader Kopecky.

Riding so solidly after a crash is a good sign for the season, and sees Armitage jump 85 places in the general classification up to 24th overall.

The WorldTour race ends on Sunday with a flat, fast stage to Abu Dhabi Breakwater. The UAE Tour is Armitage’s third event of the season.

She made her EF Education-Cannondale debut with 51st in the Trofeo Felantix-Colònia de Sant Jordi on January 20th, and was then 17th in the Trofeo Binissalem-Andratx two days later.

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