Hatta - Australian Caleb Ewan sprinted to victory in the second stage of the UAE Tour on Monday, taking the overall lead in the process, while Chris Froome was dropped by the peloton.
The 25-year-old Ewan, who also won two stages on the Tour Down Under earlier this year, edged out Irishman Sam Bennett on the up-hill climb at the finish to take the win at Hatta Dam for a second straight year.
"We thought today's stage was going to be harder, but because there was no wind, it turned out fairly easy," said Ewan.
The Australian took the lead in the general classification as first-stage winner Pascal Ackermann fell away on the penultimate climb.
Four-time Tour de France winner Froome, racing for the first time since a horror crash during training at the Criterium du Dauphine last June, was dropped by the leaders eight kilometres from the finish, ending 111th at 3min 46sec.
Frenchman Arnaud Demare was third on the day after the 168km ride from Hatta to Hatta Dam.
Tuesday's 184km third stage ends with a challenging final climb of 10.6km, with a seven percent average gradient, at Jebel Hafeet.
2nd stage resuts:
1. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LOT) 168km in 4hr 18min 16se, 2. Sam Bennett (IRL/DEC) at 2sec, 3. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) 4, 4. Diego Ulissi (ITA/UAE) 4, 5. Rick Zabel (GER/ICA)4, 6. Andrea Vendrame (ITA/ALM) 4, 7. Luka Mezgec (SLO/MIT)4, 8. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 4, 9. Tadej Pogacar (SLO/UAE) 4, 10. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 4
1. Caleb Ewan (AUS/Lotto) 7 h 47:19, 2. Sam Bennett (IRL/DEC) at 12src, 3. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ) 16, 4. Nikolay Cherkasov (RUS/GAZ) 17, 5. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) 19, 6. Luka Mezgec (SLO/MIT) 20, 7. Andrea Vendrame (ITA/ALM) 20, 8. Rick Zabel (GER/ICA) 20, 9. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 20, 10. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 20
18. Adam Yates (GBR/MIT) 20sec, 106. Christopher Froome (GBR/INE) 4:02.124, Mark Cavendish (GBR/BAH) 7:21