Slovenia's and UAE Team Emirates' Tadej Pogačar earned his first stage victory of this year's UAE Tour ©Getty Images

Defending champion Tadej Pogačar took control of the red jersey on the UAE Tour with victory in a sprint at the end of the mountain finish.

The 181 kilometres route from Fujairah Fort to Jebel Jais concluded with a 20km climb, and Slovenia's Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates pipped Britain's Adam Yates of Ineos Grenadiers and Aleksandr Vlasov of Russia and Bora-Hansgrohe across the finish line.

Pogačar clocked 4 hours 49min 24sec to earn his first stage victory on this year's UAE Tour.

He felt his team-mates' contributions were invaluable to his success.

"I always want to win, like all the riders on the start line of a bike race," Pogačar said.

"This was a good race for me and for our team.

"We tried multiple times to split the group with Rafa [Majka] and João [Almeida].

"If the climb was any harder today, I’d have put my money on Rafa for the stage win.

"He was one of the strongest riders.

"When we saw that it was coming down to a sprint, Rafa and João did a great lead out for me.

"I'm so happy to take the win.

"It pays off for the hard work we’ve done during the off season.

"I was emotional at the end because of the team's hard work."

Overnight leader Stefan Bissegger of Switzerland and EF Education-Easypost was unable to maintain the pace for the duration of the stage, while The Netherlands' Tokyo 2020 Olympic time trial silver medallist Tom Dumoulin of Jumbo-Visma was dropped with 8km remaining.

Pogačar leads the general classification and the young rider standings with a time of 14:02:34, although Italy's Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers remained in touch and is just two seconds behind him in the race for the red jersey

Vlasov rounds off the top-three at 13 seconds off the pace.

Jasper Philipsen of Denmark and Alpecin-Fenix retains his points classification lead.

Tomorrow's fifth stage features a 182km route from Ras-al-Khaimah to Al Marjan Island.