Bahrain Victorious set for the Saudi Tour

For the second year in a row, the Saudi Tour will be hosted in the UNESCO Heritage sight, Al Ula, over 5 stages and 830 km.

Stages 1, 2, and 5 will likely be decided by bunch sprints as due to their fairly flat profiles. Stage 3 has a 1.5km long slope averaging 8.5% close to the finish line, the same finish our Santiago Buitrago won last year. Stage 4 is the queen stage of the race, with the 3km climb to the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid with the steepest section reaching a 22% gradient.

Our team will see 4 riders returning to Saudi after racing it last year – Santiago Buitrago, Jonathan Milan, Filip Maciejuk, and Ahmed Madan, mixed with 3 new riders on our team – Dusan Rajovic, Rainer Kepplinger and Andrea Pasqualon. 

Sports Director Enrico Poitschke: “We have a very strong team for the Saudi Tour. Our leader Santiago Buitrago is in very good form. Hopefully, he can stay with the best on the crosswind sections, and then on the stage with the climb, he can fight for victory and the GC. It will not be easy as it will be up to the wind situation, but he is very motivated and in good shape and the team will support him in the best possible way. As for the sprint stages, we are in a very good position, we have good guys for the lead-out for Jonathan Milan and Dusan Rajovic who are very fast. We’ll decide stage by stage who is our leading sprinter. We have a few riders that will race for us for the first time. Rainer Kepplinger is not as experienced in this kind of race, but he’s in great shape and feels strong, he’ll be in a supporting role and also learning about his tasks. Dusan, another new member, is a sprinter and lead-out rider, he’ll get his chance in one or two sprint stages. Andrea Pasqualon rounds up the list of new team members. He’s a very experienced and very important rider for this race, as we need someone to organize the team, especially in crosswinds, to stay in the right position as well as in the lead-out. We have a good mix of young and hungry guys (Rajovic, Milan, Madan, Kepplinger, and Maciejuk) with experienced riders like Pasqualon and Buitrago. It’s a good mix and we are very motivated and feel comfortable doing some good results”.

Our leader Santiago Buitrago: “Well, very happy to have been able to successfully finish the first camp with the team, and I am very motivated to start my calendar at the Saudi Tour. It is a race that I really liked, and it is a good test to start this new season. We are going with a very competitive team for the sprint as well as for the general classification. We hope it will be a week full of good results and we can improve on the 2nd place achieved last year.”



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