The last stage of the Tour of Arabia, starting in the historic center of the city of AlUla ending in the same cultural center of Maraya that was the start of yesterday’s stage. The 142.9 km route and barely 910 m of unevenness presented a priori a simple and flat stage. However, the layout held a surprise with a gravel section where the race could be decided, as well as a final chain of two steep slopes at the finish line.
Almost from the beginning the breakaway was formed, made up of Marcus Sander Hansen (Uno-X), Kamil Małecki (Q36.5), Txomin Juaristi (Euskaltel), Ceriel Desal (BingoalWB), Alessandro Iacchi and Etienne Van Empel (Corractec). . The first intermediate sprint as well as the second of the stage was taken by the Uno-X cyclist, thus consolidating his blue jersey, the most active rider, in this Tour.
The gravel section, 773 m of compact earth, did not pose any difficulty for the runners but it caused a significant acceleration in the pace of the race, which caused the difference in the breakaway to plummet to less than a minute with 30 km to go for the race. goal. Xabier Azparren (Euskaltel) suffered a puncture at the end of the stage but was able to reconnect with the group that had braked when leaving the sterrato. Mark Donovan (Q36.5), took advantage of the relaxation of the peloton to launch an attack and try to connect with the breakaway.
The peloton caught Donovan and faced the final stretch of the race with the Movistar Team imposing a high pace that later made Van Empel hunt down and ended with the group hunting down the bulk of the breakaway with about 3 km to go and the last survivor, Kamil Małecki 1.8 km from the finish line.
The predictable final sprint, which went uphill, was hard fought by Team Jayco, Bahrain, Uno-X, DSM and Cofidis, but after a rush by Milan and Groenewegen the final victory went to Simone Consoni (Cofidis) after a fierce battle with Mateo Malucelli (BingoalWB).
The overall standings conclude with Rubén Guerreiro (Movistar-Team) as Saudi Tour champion, followed by Davide Formolo (UAE) at 8” and Santi Buitrago (Bahrain) at 9”.
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