Race report

Alberto Dainese sprints to 5th place after after crosswind chaos at Saudi Tour

Saudi Tour

Stage three of the Saudi Tour saw the riders head south through the desert from Tayma Hadaj Well to AlUla Old Town and with a strong wind blowing, crosswinds were inevitable. With echelons straight from the start almost, riders were  all over the road, trying to survive the chaos. The peloton split into several groups but when group one and two merged again, a solo break went clear up the road, claiming a maximum advantage of five minutes. Alberto Dainese, Nico Denz, Tim Naberman, Joris Nieuwenhuis and Casper van Uden were present in the peloton for Team DSM, sticking together well and saving their energy for the final.

When the leader was finally caught it was all eyes on the sprint for the peloton. Some teams tried to split up the group with ten kilometres to go but could not make it work, while the team stayed together as a unit, preparing the sprint for fast finisher Dainese. Great work by the team delivered Dainese in the wheels of the sprinters battling it out for the stage win. Having to close a small gap in the final 250 metres Dainese launched his sprint on the slight uphill run-in to the finish, eventually crossing the line in a strong fifth place for the team after an eventful day of full gas racing at the Saudi Tour.

“It was a hard day with the wind,” explained Dainese. “The final was mostly headwind so the main groups came back together. The guys set me up well for the last roundabout, then I tried my best to find a good wheel before the sprint. I had to close a gap in the last few hundred meters and came close on the line. We’ll try again in the sprint on Saturday.”

Team DSM coach Roy Curvers continued: ”It was chaos from the start with a desert storm dividing the bunch in to echelons. Unfortunately, half of our team got caught up behind a crash and had to spend a lot of energy to come back. The guys put in a big effort but they managed, so in the end we could set up Alberto in a good position for the final sprint, where he got a solid fifth.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 GROENEWEGEN Dylan Team BikeExchange - Jayco 5:11:22 14
2 MCLAY Daniel Team Arkéa Samsic ,, 5
3 EWAN Caleb Lotto Soudal ,, 3
5 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, -
23 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -
24 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM ,, -
38 VAN UDEN Casper Team DSM ,, -
40 NABERMAN Tim Team DSM ,, -
66 MÄRKL Niklas Team DSM 2:22 -
71 WELSFORD Sam Team DSM ,, -