Final KM 2020: Saudi Tour St 3; Etoile des Besseges St 2; Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana St 2; Bat Champs

Three races, three remarkable finishes, time trial specialists doing their thing and the first Danish victory of 2020. What else do you need from a blog post?

Stage 3, Saudi Tour

Bahrain McLaren swapped their brace of second places for the top step of the podium as Phil Bauhaus powered away over the line in sparkling style. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (NTT Pro Cycling) and Youcef Reguigui (TSG Cycling rounded out the podium). Race leader Rui Costa  (UAE-Team Emirates) attacked on both climbs and gained valuable bonus seconds but it wasn’t enough to stop the leader’s jersey swapping shoulders to Bauhaus. The German now leads by 3secs.

Bahrain McLaren produced a text book lead out and a touch of clever tactics on a finish everyone had raced yesterday – then  one person finished it with a remarkable display of pure power. No one came to challenge the team on the run in, and right up until 500m from the line I thought Bauhaus was last man standing for Mark Cavendish. Then Cav just peeled away and Bauhaus opened his sprint with about 400m to go. Sat down for a bit and then lit the blue touch paper again at 200m. Not many sprinters have a double kick – simply impressive. Not a bad way to take the first team victory.

GC and Jerseys

Race Website  @thesauditour  #SaudiTour

Stage 2, Etoile des Besseges

An uphill drag to the line tempted out the classics riders and produced an oh-so-close Scandinavian duel for victory. Magnus Cort (EF Pro Cycling) claimed the top step of the podium for Denmark, snatching victory from NTT Pro Cycling’s Edvald Boassen Hagen on the line. Alexys Brunel (Groupama-FDJ) remains in the race lead by three seconds.

Even if Mr Cort wasn’t dressed in bright pink I’d recognise his stomping style anywhere.

Oh so close on the line

LOVE this image

It was Cort’s first victory for his new team and demonstrates exactly why they signed him. Although it seems he hadn’t had time to update his twitter profile –  oops! It’s all looking pretty in pink now.

Race Website  @Etoile_Besseges  #etoiledebesseges #EDB2020

Stage 2, Volta la Comunitat Valenciana

A belter of a finish on the 2km climb above Cullera. Rider after rider attacked on the steep ramps but it was Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) who got the better of them all. The young Slovenian bided his time, kept Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde within sight and shot around him – cool as ice – to claim victory with a punch to the air.  Dylan Teuns rounded out the podium for Bahrain McLaren. Pogacar will wear the leader’s jersey but shares the same time with eight other riders.

It’s not many riders who can outshine Valverde on his favourite territory – even if there are 18 years between them.

Full race report here

Race Website  @VueltaCV #VCV

South African National Championships, Time Trial

Ashleigh Moolman (CCC-Liv) takes the TT title for the 5th time

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) with his 9th TT title.

Header image: © Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

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