News | Saudi Tour • January 30, 2023
Oliveira top-10 in tense Saudi Tour opener
Crashes and illness hamper sprint
UAE Team Emirates had a testing start to the Saudi Tour, with Ivo Oliveira salvaging 6th place for the Emirati squad on the flat opening stage from Alula International Airport to Khaybar (180km).
The plan for the stage was to lead-out the designated sprinter Pascal Ackermann though he would drop from the front of the race due to stomach problems.
Ryan Gibbons was then given the task to step-up for the sprint though found himself behind a crash at the front of the peloton in the closing 3km.
The task then fell to Rui Oliveira, who normally navigates the final kilometre to go himself and the Portuguese managed a highly respectable 6th place behind stage winner Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula) who also takes the race lead.
Ivo Oliveira : “The idea today was to set-up Ackermann for the sprint but during the stage he wasn’t feeling very well so we changed to plan to sprint for Gibbons. Then Ryan was held up by the crash in the fine 3km which left it down to me and I managed to do a decent sprint but the goal is to lead out the guys over the next days and go for victories with them .”
The Saudi Tour continues tomorrow for Stage 2 from Winter Park to Shalal Sijlyat Rocks (184km).
Stage 1 results
1.Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula) 4:08:09
2.Dusan Rajovic (Bahrain Victorious) s.t
3.Max Walscheid (Cofidis) s.t
6.Ivo Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) s.t
General Classification after stage 1
1.Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-Alula) 4:07:59
2.Dusan Rajovic (Bahrain Victorious) +4’’
3.Max Walscheid (Cofidis) +6’’
7.Ivo Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) +10’’