RIYADH: French cyclist Nacer Bouhanni took the overall lead in the Saudi Tour 2020 on Friday after winning the fourth and penultimate stage, posting an overall tally of 14hr 34min 49sec.
The Arkea-Samsic rider had finished in the top five in each of the first three stages and grabbed a two-second advantage in the general classification from Italian Niccolo Bonifazio.
Taking second place was Bohas Vale of team Bahrain-McLaren with an overall tally of 14:34:51, and in third place was Portuguese cyclist Rui Costa of the UAE Team Emirates, finishing at 14:34:54.
It was the 29-year-old Bouhanni’s first stage win since the sixth stage of the 2018 Vuelta a Espana.
“I needed this victory because otherwise you start to have doubts,” he said.
The fourth stage of the Saudi Tour 2020 had started from Wadi Namar Park to King Saud University in Al-Muzahmiyya governorate, with a distance of 137 kilometers.
“Today, my teammates did an incredible job. By being led out this way, the only thing I could do was win. Now let’s defend the (overall leader’s) jersey.”
The inaugural edition of the race finishes with a 144km ride on Saturday, starting from Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University and ending at the historic Masmak Palace in the heart of the capital, Riyadh.
Fourth stage results
1. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/ARK) 137km in 3hr 21min 55sec,
2. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA/TDE) same time,
3. Yevgeniy Gidich (KAZ/AST) s.t.,
4. Damiano Cima (ITA/GAZ) s.t.,
5. Ivo Oliveira (POR/UAE) s.t.
1. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/ARK) 14hr 34min 49sec,
2. Phil Bauhaus (GER/BAH) at 02sec,
3. Rui Costa (POR/UAE) 0:05,
4. Youcef Reguigui (ALG/TER) 0:14,
5. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) 0:15
(With AFP and SPA)