Report: SaudiTour Stage 1

Rui Costa wins stage 1 of the SaudiTour; Olly Moors (Ribble/Weldtite) gets in the days big breakaway – reactions from Olly and Rui Costa

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Report: SaudiTour Stage 1

UAE Team Emirates continued their promising start to the season with Rui Costa’s victory on Stage 1 of the first Saudi Tour (2.1). The race was marked by strong crosswinds which split the race apart on the route from Riyadh to Jaww (173km).

Photo: @thesauditour

A six man breakaway with Olly Moore (Ribble/Weldtite), Pablo Guerrero (BBH), Stephen Bassett (RLY), Maral-Erdene Batmunkh (TSG), Jesse De Rooij (BAI) and Nikodemus Holler (BAI) got away and built up a big lead before some of the WorldTour teams put the hammer down and brought them back.

After Olly Moors group was caught, there were more breakaways before Costa made his move on the uphil finish. Rui Costa: “We knew it was going to be a hard stage and that there was going to be a lot of cross winds, but we did our best to be alert to the conditions. I knew who I had to watch coming into the finish and that 300m was the right time to make my move before the hairpin. It’s a really important win for me and a great start to the season.”

Photo: @thesauditour

For Olly Moors on his Ribble Cycles SLR, it was a great start to the season with Ribble Weldtite. “It was a super tough day out today. I saw an opportunity from kilometre 0 and thought I’d take it. It was full gas for a first 20 minutes or so before it then settled down”.

“The wind all day was relentless but the gap went out to just over seven minutes at its maximum. It was super smooth in the break (relatively) and we all worked super well. It was a super savage day out though with basically a block headwind until the crosswinds too so that was taxing for sure.”

“We got caught with 60km to go and the whole Bahrain Mclaren squad had split the peloton. The scenes were unreal. Bodies everywhere. It was good to see Fred Wright whacking it for his new team too. I sat on the back of them for as long as I could but you had to contribute and I had absolutely no gas left”.

“I dropped back to the second group but they were gassing it too. I decided it was definitely day over and was time to nurse myself to the finish for the next few days. The team rode fantastic today with Steve and Richard up the front but unfortunately a crash for Rich and puncture for Steve scuppered the final for them”.

Photo: @thesauditour

A spokesman for the Ribble Weldtitle team said of the day, “the team are obviously thrilled to be a part of the race and laid out an objective of getting in the break of the day which they accomplished with Olly. We knew that a 34km crosswind section after 99km would decide the race which it did.”

“We unfortunately lost Steve to a puncture during the crosswind section but he rode well to finish in the second group. Richard rode brilliantly to make the front group but was taken out with a crash at 4km to go. We rode as a unit throughout and really tried to embed ourselves in the race.”

“The difference in standard between us at the Would Tour is clear but it’s not an insurmountable gap. We hope to continue to have an impact on the race over the next four stages.”

Photo: James Huntley

1. Rui Costa  UAE Team Emirates 03:52:12
2. Heinrich Haussler Bahrain – McLaren
3. Nacer Bouhanni Team Arkéa – Samsic
4. Tom-Jelte Slagter B&B Hotels – Vital Concept
5. Carlos Barbero NTT Pro Cycling Team
6. Phil Bauhaus Bahrain – McLaren
7. Andreas Kron Riwal Readynez Cycling
8. Niki Terpstra Total Direct Energie
9. Matteo Malucelli Caja Rural – Seguros RGA
10. Jens Debusschere B&B Hotels – Vital Concept

22. James Shaw Riwal Readynez Cycling @ 12 secs
24. Connor Swift Team Arkéa – Samsic
34. Mark Cavendish Bahrain – McLaren @ 15 secs
54. Fred Wright Bahrain – McLaren @ 54 secs
63. Daniel McLay Team Arkéa – Samsic @ 01:57
66. Steve Lampier Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 02:24
68. Richard Jones Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 02:31
83. Matt Gibson Burgos – BH @ 07:06
84. Zeb Kyffin Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 07:41
87. Jack Rees Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 07:52
102. Charles Page Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 07:55
112. Jacob Tipper Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 08:06
116. Oliver Moors Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling @ 18:36

Full result:



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