Dylan Groenewegen edged a competitive sprint finish to win stage three of the Saudi Tour.
Groenewegen, of Team BikeExchange–Jayco, streaked clear of the pack in the final few hundred metres to take the victory ahead of Britain's Dan Mclay after the 181km stage from Tayma Hadaj to AlUla Old Town.
It was another arduous day for the riders despite the flat terrain, with the open nature of the desert landscape creating challenging cross-winds.
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Of his triumph, Groenewegen said: "It was a really great lead-out, I only had to sprint 100 metres.
"We had a new plan today and everyone did their job very well.
"It was a really hectic stage, but the team always managed to put me in a good position. Everyone came back from the cross-winds, which was also favourable for us.
"I have to thank the team. We made up for it [Groenewegen's failure to make the top 10 on stage one] today."
Highlights: Groenewegen wins sprint in style
Lead-out man Luka Mezgec added: "Today all the guys were very strong.
"We have only just started working together, but today it seemed as if we had been racing together for three years.
"We learned a lot from Tuesday's stage.
"This is good for my morale. A great start for me and the team.”
Friday's fourth stage promises much, with the race travelling from Winter Park to Skyviews of Harrat Uwayrid. With ramps of up to 22 per cent, the final climb up to the finish will be a savage affair.
“The finale [of stage four] is superb and really very hard,” the race's technical director Jean-Marc Marino has said.
Marino has also compared the ascent to the famed Angliru climb that regularly features in La Vuelta a Espana, and that is considered one of the toughest climbs in cycling.
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After winning the second stage, Santiago Buitrago of Bahrain Victorious retained the leader's green jersey but Caleb Ewan of Lotto-Soudal is just three seconds back.
Buitrago said after stage three: "It's a stage I'll remember forever. I'm really grateful to the team for how they worked for me.
"Tomorrow will be quite hard, we need to recover now."
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