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Ruben Guerreiro (Movistar) beat Davide Formolo (UAE Group Emirates), Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious) and Felix Großschartner (UAE Group Emirates) in a dash to win the Queen stage of the Saudi Tour as much as Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid platform.
The 4 riders bought away on the climb as much as the plateau and held off a decided however fractured chase.
Jonathan Milan (Bahrain Victorious) was a part of the third chase group and completed simply 28 seconds down on Guerreiro however he misplaced the general race result in the Portuguese rider. Milan is now fifth general at 24 seconds.
Guerreiro now leads Formolo by eight seconds, with Buitrago third at 9 seconds. He should defend the inexperienced chief’s jersey throughout Friday’s closing rolling 142.9km stage, the place the sprinters are anticipated to return to the fore.
The climb to the end was all the time going to be decisive for the stage victory and the general classification. An early break was allowed to open a two-minute hole on the circuits of AlUla within the valley and Canada’s Nickolas Zukowsky (Q36.5) was the final to be caught on the foot of the climb however the peloton was all collectively because the street climbed out of the shadows.
Formolo made plenty of surges on the 12% gradient however Buitrago joined him and Großschartner, with Guerreiro latching on because the gradient eased excessive. They then rode collectively on the plateau street, holding off the chasers.
Formolo tried to regulate the dash however Guerreiro bought forward of him and held off the Italian.
Guerriero moved from EF Schooling-EasyPost to Movistar for 2023 and instantly used his climbing abilities to land an early-season however vital win for the Spanish staff. Movistar are working with the Saudi Arabian Biking Federation and will safe funding from the area sooner or later.
“Right this moment was actually arduous, actually robust. We all know this climb, we did it coaching however we didn’t understand how the legs would really feel after the levels within the wind and with a lot stress,” Guerreiro defined.
“I feel the key to successful was to attend and wait. It was a nervous stage, both full fuel or actually sluggish due to the wind. You wanted to attend in the course of the week and in the course of the stage as a result of there have been three hours earlier than the ultimate climb.
“I used to be watching the UAE guys and Santiago Buitrago. He had a poker face. I needed to watch him as a result of he’s fast. I used to be fortunate to have the legs for the dash. I’ve to thank my teammates and employees, they’re wonderful. This win is for them and for my household. That is my first yr within the staff and I instantly felt welcome right here.”
The general race lead got here as a bonus for Guerreiro however now he and Movistar are eager to wrap up general victory.
“I used to be centered on crossing the road first slightly than the chief’s jersey. We’ve bought a very good staff, with only one stage to go, I feel we’re prepared and centered,” Guerreiro confirmed.
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