All the fun of echelon-laden desert racing, a victory for Rui Costa and a gutsy ride from Heinrich Haussler – we’re turning the clock back at the inaugural Saudi Tour.
Today’s cracking stage proves that long descents can be just as exciting as long ascents. Omar Fraile (Team Dimension Data) won the stage after a spectacular breakaway effort which saw him regularly pinging off the front only to be pulled back again. But his persistence paid off. Attacked over the final climb, he had enough left in the legs to win the four-man sprint for the finish. The GC remains largely unchanged with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) still wearing the maglia rosa. Messrs Thomas, Kruijswijk and van Garderen had another bad day at the office, and lost further time.
Abu Dhabi winds up with a slick tyre sprint, the lion of the peloton roars at Kuurne and it’s Belgian home win at Omloop Hageland.