Sam Bennett has got his UAE Tour campaign underway but was among those affected by the impact of crosswinds on the opening stage.

The Irish sprint specialist, who won the Tour de France green jersey in 2020, is 127th in the general classification after day one, coming home in a time of 3 hours 54 minutes and 16 seconds on the 176km stage from Al Dhafra Castle to Al Mirfa.

Mathieu van der Poel of the Alpecin-Fenix team took the stage win from Jumbo-Visma's David Dekker, with Bennett among those unable to contest the sprint after losing out in the splits as crosswinds caused chaos on the opening stage.

Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates and Bennett's Deceuninck-QuickStep team-mate Joao Almeida were also in the front group.

But several other big names, including Vincenzo Nibali, Ben Hermans and a rehabbing Chris Froome were among those to lose almost nine minutes - and surely any hope of overall victory - on what was expected to be a straightforward sprint stage.

With bonus seconds applied, Van de Poel leads overall by four seconds from Dekker, with Almeida fourth at seven seconds down and Pogacar fifth, one further back.