AlUla, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia –
Stage four of the 2023 Saudi Tour, currently being broadcast in full on the Experience AlUla YouTube channel in the MENA region, gave the Saudi Cycling Federation team further invaluable experience against some of the world’s best, with the toughest stage of the race to date putting the peloton through its paces around AlUla in some of the most stunning cycling terrain in the world.
The 163.4 km-stage got underway in front of the architectural splendour of Maraya, the stunning mirrored entertainment venue in the desert canyon of Ashar Valley, and took the riders through the breathtaking natural landscapes of Ashar Valley before moving into the Harrat Uwayrid Biosphere Reserve and a gruelling climb and sprint to the finish line at the Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid.
Ruben Almeida Guerreiro of the Movistar team secured a thrilling stage win in a time of 03h 45′ 01”, and the Saudi team once again impressed with Abdulazis Al Hashim and Azzam Al Abdulmumin, the breakaway hero on stage three, finishing in 03H 55′ 32”, with Hassan Al Jumah (03H 57′ 19”), Murthada Al Shaghab and Hani Al Mrhoon (both 04H 00′ 45”) just behind.
The race which features seven UCI World teams, six UCI Pro teams and two UCI Continental teams from Asia, is being viewed as an important developmental building block for the team, and perfect preparation for some important international dates in the near future.
Haidar Alessa, Saudi Cycling Federation board member, said: “Our participation at the Saudi Tour in AlUla is extremely important. The event and AlUla’s incredible cycling environment are helping our team to gain the experience needed to be able to compete at the forthcoming Asian Championships and the Arab Road Cycling Championships.
“Riding in AlUla, in this world-class field is giving our cyclists a real wealth of experience – they are developing their skills on many levels. They are learning from the peloton how to better position themselves and work as a team, supporting each other. They are also learning about dealing with wind and weather conditions and even about tire changing and other fundamentals during a race.
“They are learning so much just by competing alongside these world-class teams. We are so proud of our participation in the Saudi Tour on these perfect cycling conditions in AlUla, and we’re looking forward to being back next year.”
The five-stage Saudi Tour concludes on Friday with a 142.9km ride which takes the peloton through AlUla Old Town and the Aljadidah Arts and Culture District, before finishing up at Maraya.