Dan Martin heads for the final stage of the UAE Tour in seventh place overall just over a minute behind the leader Primoz Roglic after taking fourth in a frantic finish into Jebel Jais on Friday.
UAE Team Emirates rider Martin made his move with 2km to go in good company, as he jostled for position in a 20-man bunch.
The Irishman stepped on the gas 300 metres from home but he couldn't get up ahead of winner Roglic [Team Jumbo-Visma] who was followed home by Tom Dumoulin [Team Sunweb], David Gaudu Groupama-FDJ] then Martin, who is 1 min 11 secs off Roglic overall.
"It was a really nervous day in the peloton and my guys did an amazing job of protecting me," Martin said afterwards.
"The climb was really fast, not like a typical climb in Europe so we had to be very tactical.
"I feel that I slightly mistimed my sprint at the end and didn’t have the legs to go again. That said, I think I rode a better race today than on Jebel Hafeet so I am happy about that, even if I am just lacking a little bit of punch at the end."
The other Irishman in the field, Sam Bennett [Bora-Hansgrohe], is 117th on the general classification.