Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen stormed to his first victory of the season with an emphatic and powerful sprint on the opening stage of the Saudi Tour.
The 29-year-old finished off a perfect lead out from teammates Luka Mezgec and Zdeněk Štybar after battling back from three punctures earlier in the 180km stage.
Windy conditions and rough roads made for a tough day of racing, but Team Jayco AlUla controlled the peloton throughout. As the finale approached the experience of Štybar and Mezgec proved vital as they timed their run to the front perfectly, avoiding the crashes and carnage behind them.
Mezgec then peeled off in the sight of the line, launching Groenewegen who had time to sit up and savour the moment as he crossed the line for his first win of 2023, adding to his two victories in Saudi Arabia last year.
“It was really hectic, we did a lot of work, only DSM was working with us and the breakaway was really strong. I had a flat tyre at the wrong moment and with 20km it was still two minutes, but all the team was working really good and we are really motivated to show AlUla that we are really strong.