Rui Costa wins opening stage of Saudi Tour

Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) stormed to victory on the opening stage of the Saudi Tour after an unpredictable finish.

The former world champion came through at the uphill finish in Jaww to pip the Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain McLaren), the last survivor of a brekaway during the 173 kilometre ride from Riyadh.

Nacer Bouhanni, who has switched from Cofidis to Arkea-Samsic this season, finished third.

“We knew it was going to be a hard stage and that there was going to be a lot of wind, but we did our best to be alert to the conditions,” Costa explained. “I knew who I had to watch coming into the finish and that 300┬ám was the right time to make my move before the hairpin. It’s a really important win for me and a great start to the season.”

Wednesday’s second of five stages takes the riders 182 kilometres from Sadus Castle to Riyadh.

Saudi Tour 2020 – stage 1 results (Riyadh – Jaww):

1 Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates)

3:52:12

2 Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain McLaren)

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3 Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea – Samsic)

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4 Tom-Jelte Slagter (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept)

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5 Carlos Barbero (NTT)

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6 Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain McLaren)

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7 Andreas Lorentz Kron (Riwal Readynez)

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8 Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie)

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9 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

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10 Jens Debusschere (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept)

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Saudi Tour 2020 – general classification after stage 1:

1 Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates)

3:52:02

2 Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain McLaren)

+01”

3 Nacer Bouhanni (Arkea – Samsic)

+06”

4 Andreas Lorentz Kron (Riwal Readynez)

+09”

5 Carlos Barbero (NTT)

+10”

6 Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain McLaren)

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7 Tom-Jelte Slagter (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept)

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8 Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Energie)

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9 Matteo Malucelli (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)

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10 Jens Debusschere (B&B Hotels – Vital Concept)

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