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.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1