Cycling

Costa wins opening stage of Saudi Tour

Rui Costa (Gallo Images)
Rui Costa (Gallo Images)

Paris - Portuguese rider Rui Costa is the early leader of the Saudi Tour after winning the sprint to claim the opening stage on Tuesday.

The UAE Emirates rider came through at the uphill finish in Jaww to pip the Australian Heinrich Haussler, the last survivor of a breakway during the 173km ride from Riyadh.

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

Costa won the world championship in 2013, but this was the 33-year-old's first win since the Tour of Abu Dhabi in 2017.

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

Stage 1

1. Rui Costa (POR/UAE) 3hr 52 min 12sec, 2. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) same time, 3. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/ARK) s.t., 4. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/BBH) s.t., 5. Carlos Barbero (ESP/NTT) s.t.

General classification

1. Rui Costa (POR/UAE) 3hr 52 min 12sec, 2. Heinrich Haussler (AUS/BAH) at 1sec, 3. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/ARK) 6, 4. Andreas Kron (DEN/Riwal) 9, 5. Tom-Jelte Slagter (NED/BBH) 10

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