Sweet revenge for Bauhaus
February 6 th 2020 - 16:35 [GMT + 3]
Second of yesterday’s stage, Phil Bauhaus got his revenge in Al Bujairi conquering an impressive bunched sprint. The German made the best of the final uphill straight suited to his power and a perfect lead out by his Bahrain-McLaren team mates Heinrich Haussler and Mark Cavendish. The 25-year-old eventually beat Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (NTT Pro Cycling Team) and Youcef Reguigui (TSG) to the line. Despite being extremely active all along the day’s stage, previous race leader Rui Costa loses his green jersey to Bauhaus who now had a 3” lead with two stages to go.
Stage 3 of the Saudi Tour was to be a rather short one starting from the King Saud University and heading south-west before returning to Al Bujairi after 119kms of racing. Short but extremely entertaining! The 116 remaining riders took off just before 1 o’clock for an intense battle. Indeed despite several breakaway attempts, it took over 20 kilometres for a breakaway to build a big enough gap over the pack. At km 22, Suter (Wallonie-Bruxelles), Ellsay (Rally Cycling), Batmunkh (TSG), Holler and Kangangi (Bike AID) powered away. Their lead reached 1’45 at km 30 and then 2’ at the first intermediate active sprint won by Suter ahead of Batmunkh and Holler.
But on the long uphill portion heading to the second intermediate sprint, team UAE Emirates took command of the pack and chased hard, launching overall leader Rui Costa who took off on a counter-attack. The Green jersey made it first to the sprint with a 5” advantage over the first chasing group. The Portuguese was eventually caught at km 85 by the pack that had bunched up together again.
The third active sprint was then claimed by Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) ahead of Madrazo (Burgos-BH) and Hailemicheal (Nippo Delko Provence) with the last two insisting and managing to pull away from the pack. With 25kms to go the Spaniard and the Ethiopian could enjoy a slim 20” advantage. They were to be caught at km 100.
Again as the road started rising, Rui Costa powered away on his own. He went on to claim the bonus sprint and the all-important 3” going with it. After having a 20” lead with 7kms to go, the overall leader was caught by the hungry bunch before the final 5-km mark. The peloton remained bunched all the way to the final straight, the same one as yesterday’s stage 2. Beautifully led out by his prestigious team mates Heinrich Haussler and Mark Cavendish, Phil Bauhaus managed the perfect sprint, beating Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (NTT Pro Cycling Team) and Youcef Reguigui. A winner last year of the Copa Bernocchi but also of stages on the Abu Dhabi Tour and Criterium du Dauphiné in previous seasons, Bauhaus wins his first race of 2020.
Thanks to the bonus seconds of his stage win, the German takes command of the general classification and will be wearing the green jersey on tomorrow’s fourth stage. He also leads the points classification while Kron (Riwal Readynez Cycling Team) remains best young rider and Fuentes (Burgos-BH) the most active rider of the event.