The Saudi Tour is set to return for its second edition after a year out due to Covid-19, with the inaugural race taking place just before the pandemic.
In 2020 it was the sprinters who came out on top with German Bahrain Victorious rider Phil Bauhaus led out by Mark Cavendish to beat Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic), Rui Costa taking second thanks to various breakaway bonus seconds.
Race organisers ASO, also responsible for the Tour de France, have managed to get the go ahead for the event to be run in 2022, unlike others such as the Tour of Utah, Tour de Yorkshire and the Australian WorldTour races which have all been cancelled for next year.
Abdullah bin Ali Al-Wathlan, President of Saudi Cycling Federation, President of Cycling Organizing Committee of the GCC States, said: "With the unlimited support from the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, we are pleased to host the second edition of the Saudi Tour for 2022, which is a global cycling event and one of the most important opportunities to view the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
"On behalf of all athletes and those who love this sport, I am pleased to express my happiness that my country is hosting this event and the distinguished efforts made by His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, Minister of Sports - President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, preserving the Kingdom's position and accomplishing international achievements locally and abroad, and on the follow-up and attention from His Highness Prince Fahad bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed, Vice President of the Olympic Committee for all sports federations."
The race is currently coming back to the calendar on Tuesday, February 1 and running until Saturday, February 5.
It is likely that the route will have similar characteristics to the first edition, with sprinters being the main focus, but there are plenty hills and mountains in Saudi Arabia, so it is unknown if some testing ascents will be utilised or not.
The current start list has Cofidis, Team DSM, Team TotalEnergies and Bora-Hansgrohe all down to race.
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Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!
I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.
After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.
When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.
My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.
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