Up-and-coming Visma/Lease a Bike sprinter Olav Kooij edged out Tim Merlier in a photo finish after a high speed finale on stage five of the UAE Tour on Friday.

Merlier had already won two sprint stages on the Tour but suffered a late flat tyre as the 22-year-old Dutch sprinter Kooij added to his growing reputation.

British veteran Mark Cavendish went for broke early but appeared to give up as Kooij sped past him to take the honours after the 182km run from Al Aqah to Al Quwain.

In the overall standings Jay Vine of Team UAE leads his Australian compatriot Ben O'Connor of AG2R by 11sec with Spain's climb specialist Pello Bilbao lurking in fifth at 22sec.