A short but demanding 119km maybe stage from the King Saud University to Al Bujairi awaited the peloton today. Like the days before, a four-man breakaway pulled away but after a strong effort by the Astana Pro Team together with other teams, the escapees were caught with 45km to go. The final kilometers of the stage saw many attacks and a fast tempo, also Astana’s rider Zhandos Bizhigitov was very active at the front of the race.
After nine climbs the race headed into the finale, and the teams started to form their lead-out for the upcoming sprint. Davide Martinelli and Yevgeniy Gidich looked strong and were in a good position coming into the final corner. The Italian rider finished the day off with sprinting to 15th place, while teammate Yevgeniy Gidich crossed the line in 18th position. Manuele Boaro now sits 22 seconds behind the overall leader of the race.
- Today was a short stage but a fast one. The stage profile was undulating and therefore we saw many attacks but our team was able to stay always at the front and we finished the day off with two guys in the Top 20. So, it was a solid day for us and we will try it again tomorrow and also the day after tomorrow. - said Dmitri Sedoun, Sports Director of Astana Pro Team after the stage.
The penultimate stage of the Saudi Tour tomorrow will see a 137-kilometer demanding stage starting in Wadi Namar Park and having its big showdown at the Al Mazuhimiya King Saud University.
Photo: @ Getty Images