Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain – McLaren) has won the inaugural Saudi Tour (2.1) after taking victory on the final stage of the five-day race, overtaking previous race leader Nacer Bouhanni (Team Arkéa Samsic).
The last stage of the race started from Princess Nourah University, consisting of a flat 144 kilometres passing through the centre of Riyadh and finishing by Al Masmak Palace. From the off, 4 riders formed a breakaway, gaining a maximum gap of around three minutes. With 25 kilometres to go the peloton started closing the gap, and caught breakaway inside 8 kilometres.
Bahrain – McLaren and Team Arkéa Samsic helped to control the front of the peloton and with 2 kilometres to go, Heinrich Haussler, Marcel Sieberg and Mark Cavendish controlled the lead-out for Bauhaus. The stage came down to a sprint between Bauhaus and Bouhanni, in which the German prevailed, winning the stage ahead of Bouhanni and Arvid de Kleijn (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team). On GC, Bauhaus finished 2″ ahead of Bouhanni with Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates) in third at 13″.
Phil Bauhaus: “It’s just an awesome feeling. I’ve never experienced to win a GC. It’s really something special for me. And win straight at the first race it’s fantastic. Yesterday I was very unlucky with the flat tyre and today we showed again how strong we are. I’m super happy with today’s stage win. I couldn’t have done it without the team. They were super strong in every situation to help me. They worked all day. Also, the former World Champion Mark Cavendish did a great job for me today. It’s my first ever overall win.”