ALULA: Saudi riders were to the fore in a thrilling third day of the Saudi Tour, encompassing the stunning cycling terrain of AlUla.
Azzam Al-Abdulmumin played his part in a five-man breakaway, which tried to stay ahead of the chasing peloton during the 159.5km stage from Manshiyah Station to Abu Rakah.
The breakaway was eventually reeled in, with just under 50km to go, and Soren Waerenskjold of the Uno X Pro Cycling team claimed the stage victory in Abu Rakah.
This is the first time that the Saudi Cycling Federation team has competed in the Saudi Tour, taking its place in the field alongside seven UCI World Tour teams, six UCI Pro teams and two Asian UCI Continental teams.
Al-Abdulmunim, Hassan Al-Jumah, Murthada Al-Shaghab, Hani Al-Mrhoon and Abdulaziz Al-Hashim are all gaining invaluable experience in the world-class peloton.
Salem El-Salem, a key member of the Saudi Cycling Federation coaching team, is delighted that the cyclists can use the Saudi Tour and AlUla as a benchmark in their development.
He said: “It is a very tough level for the team, but this is Saudi and we are Team Saudi so we have this incredible opportunity for the riders and federation to work and improve.
“We have prepared very well but it is a different level. In general, we are doing very well and I hope this will continue.
“This is just the start and the Saudi Tour in AlUla is the perfect place for us to look at everything and check exactly what we need — we have put together a four-year schedule and we are now on year one, and we are taking things step by step.”