2.23.2014

Tour of Oman 6: The Last Chance

Final podium
Many attacks today since the start: it was the last chance to show themself  for all those riders who had no luck in this Tour of Oman. 
The break-away was finally formed: Albasini, Hepburn, Bazzana, Agnoli, Burghardt, Minard, Van Emden, Boaro, Terpstra and Gert Dockx.
One of the many break-aways
Beauties of Oman
Entering Muscat
They got caught after the climb and three riders took the lead at km 86: Juul Jensen (TCS), Hepburn (OGE) and Bazzana (UHC). The peloton controled till the last km when,  break-away neutralized, the bunch sprint was launched.
Andre Greipel won the stage and confirmed to be the best sprinter at the moment in that part of the globe.
Chris Froome won the GC and confirmed to be the most in shape  amongh the Tour de France conteders, same time same place. Van Garderen, Uran, Rodriguez and Nibali come just after him. But I'll put out a Sum Up when I'll get the full results.
As far as Andy Schelck: he worked as a water carrier today. He finished in the bunch today (same time of the winner) and his placement in the final GC is 72 in the final GC at 20'.
Much better result for Frank Schleck: 19 in the final GC at 2'29'' from the winner Chris Froome. 

What Greipel said:
"I am just proud to be part of Lotto Belisol they are giving me 100% support. 2.5 nice weeks were full of teamwork and success. Thanks guys!"

What van Garderen said: 
"It was a hard start and a big group got away, which kind of put Sky under a little pressure. Me and a couple other GC (general classification) guys were in there. Then, Greg Van Avermaet got in a break. Then Orica-GreenEDGE, for whatever reason, wasn't happy with it. So they pulled it back. It seemed like big groups kept going and going. Finally it settled down and was pretty straight-forward into the finish. But in my opinion, it was definitely the hardest day. I have some important WorldTour races coming up and I am also keeping focused on the Tour de France."

What Froome said: 
“It was flat out from the gun today and really tough racing. There were GC guys attacking and sprint teams also trying to get someone in the break which meant they didn’t have to work as hard later in the race.
Our guys did a fantastic job of covering all the moves though, and they should take a lot of pride out of today’s performance. We had a lot on our hands and to see everyone pull together like we did made me really happy. It was a pleasure to lead this team.

Even at the end it was really tricky because we knew we had to be in a good position and not risk any significant time splits, but we achieved what we set out to achieve.
Everyone’s spirits are really high after the race and it was clear to see we’ve all come here on the back of some good winter training. To get the overall victory was a nice reward for everyone, and winning the team classification was a brilliant bonus as well.
I still feel like I’ve got a lot of work to do – a lot of room for improvement – but at this stage in the season, I’m where I need to be. This has been a really good experience for me as it’s the start of my build up to the Tour de France. I’ll travel home to Monaco now and take a few days off before honing my condition again for Tirreno-Adriatico in two weeks’ time.”

MORE TO COME


RESULTS
STAGE
1. Andre Greipel
2. Nacer Bouhanni
3. Sam Bennett.
GC
1. Froome
2. Van Garderen
3. Uran

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This result would be considered ok under normal circumstances but given that Andy stated that he would like to be amongst the top 10, I think he raised everybody's expectations again and the end result was rather disappointing. All his other Tour de France contenders seem to be on the right track. Frank Schleck who had been out of action for more than a year did quite well in Australia and did even better in the Tour of Oman. He could have placed higher in the GC if it was not for the puncture at the wrong time. His form is returning slowly and I believe that he can possibly give us some satisfaction this season. As regards to Andy I am still perplexed but will wait again until next race.

Ilaria said...

Agree. Andy said: "I hope I can stay with best 10 the climb". As a matter of fact he still has to work for that. He and his team are better to not create expectations.