Waerenskjold signs up for the Arab team San Remo in the AlUla Tour

The climb wasn’t the Poggio, with its technical descent. The finish line in the middle of the desert also didn’t have the charm of the Via Caterina, the glory of the prestigious winners of Milan-San Remo. However, that is second stage of the AlUla Tour was essentially similar to that Classicissima. Many hours of waiting, simmering and the final burst of effervescence. He won this course for the first time Sören Waerenskjöld (23 years), another pearl of Nordic cycling, who defeated the Eritrean Henok Mulubrhan (Astana) and the Dutchman Nils Eekhoff (DSM) in the sprint. The Norwegian from Uno-X relieved Van Uden in the overall ranking based on position meters.

At 199 km, the second stage of this AlUla Tour was presented as one of the longest at the beginning of the season. Challenging for the vast majority of runners the first time they change, but with pleasant temperatures (around 20°) and little wind. A priori, this meant that fans had few options, despite the track being lightly reserved A trap at the end with a 3km climb, with the hardest section at 6%, which could ruin the sprinters’ plans. A Spanish majority took part in the escape Xabier Mikel Azparren (Q36.5) and on the second day in a row a Unai Zubeldia (Euskaltel) has set his goal of winning the jersey of the most combative runner. Along with them Koishi, Pansaard and the local Al Shaikhahmed.

Fans in the 2nd stage of the AlUla Tour 2024.
Fans in the 2nd stage of the AlUla Tour 2024.AlUla Tour/Pauline Ballet

The toast fell into the hands of DSM and had to retreat to defend the lead and give Van Uden another chance at victory. To the relief of the Dutchman, who needed the help of his teammates in the first few kilometers to get back into the peloton after a slight separation, The refugees’ income was no more than 4 minutes. Everything under control. At least that’s how it seemed… Just before halfway through the stage there was a change of road, much narrower, a scene that Several teams took the opportunity to form fans. Simon Yates managed to sneak into the first group, but minutes later there was a regrouping. Start again. In flight, changing cards. A quintet was retained, with new names and one maxim: Euskaltel always represented. This time you reach out Enekoitz Azparren.

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The neutralization came 26 km from the finish line and immediately afterwards there was a scare for Formolo. The Italian lost two minutes with the peloton due to a double tire, but was able to regain contact thanks to the help of Norsgaard and Jacobs. The opposing teams didn’t want to cause bloodshed either. Joker issued. There was only one question left to answer: would the sprinters be eliminated on the final climb? Some yes, others no. After a series of Attacks in which Iván Romeo tried his luck (Place 10), Majka and Latour, Waerenskjold unleashed their power in the selection sprint who denied victory to take up arms in Arabia for the second time in a row.

“I seem to perform well when I’m away from home. It’s really a good start to the season. It was a little easier than at the end of last year (in which he won) and that was even better for me. I tried to stay ahead in the last 4km and keep up the power with 50 meters to go. It stung slightly upwards. It turned out perfect. I tried to be cool with the fans (He got off the hook) and I had good legs until the end. There are two more chances for me before I go to Anders (Johannesen) in the last stage,” summarized the day’s winner. This Thursday the third stage takes place with serious opportunities for fans, with a straight of almost 20km leading to the Camel Cup circuit. The AlUla Tour is picking up speed.

General of AlUla Tour

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