- - Saudi Tour 2023 Stage 3

Saudi Tour 2023 Stage 3

photo credits @ Saudi Tour 

Søren Wærenskjold (Uno-X) claimed the first victory of his professional career, after Norwegian rider won stage 3 of the Saudi Tour with a powerful sprint finish along the punchy finale in Abu Rakah.

The final 2 kilometers features a series of short steep ramps, which proved too difficult for the purest of sprinters like Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AlUla), who was forced to relinquish the overall leader’s jersey after a disappointing 52nd finish.

Race Highlights

Despite the presence of a prevailing crosswind, the 159 kilometer stage that started in Al Manshiyah saw nearly a full peloton remain intact until the final few uphill kilometers.

After an initial false flat, the road kicked up with two kilometers to go, with Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) launching a speculative attack, which was quickly marked by a counter-attack by Zdenek Stybar (Jayco-AlUla), who briefly went solo before being reined in by last year’s winner Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain Victorious).

From there, the duo stayed together into the final kilometer before they were caught by a group of about 30 chasers.  

Uno-X formed a two-man lead-out for Wærenskjold but Milan looked to repeat his trick from 24 hours previously with another ambitious long-range sprint.

Wærenskjold hit out and set about dragging Milan back, drawing level with 50 meters to go on the false flat finish before moving clear to celebrate a breakthrough moment.

“I knew when the guys went really hard on the bottom of the climb I couldn’t follow. So I surfed a bit on the peloton to save myself for a sprint,” Wærenskjold said.

“We did it perfectly. Today we took the right-hand side [of the road]. Finally we got the wind from the left so we got less wind compared to yesterday when we did really bad at the end. We learned from that and today we did it.”

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