Tour of Oman: Froome wins for a second time


For the second year in a row, Chris Froome claimed overall victory on the Tour of Oman while André Greipel flew to his third stage success on the Matrah Corniche

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Froome wins for a second time in Oman

Kenyan born Chris Froome (Sky) who had made the key move yesterday on the decisive stage to Jabal Al Akhdhar defended his Red Jersey in style on the final stage. The 2013 Tour de France winner stayed comfortably in the pack while André Greipel flew to his third stage success on the Matrah Corniche.


Photo: ©ASO/B. Bade

As the 141 riders gathered at the start of the final stage of the Tour of Oman, Red Jersey Christopher Froome (SKY) could enjoy a comfortable 26” lead over his closest rival Teejay Van Garderen (BMC). That indeed looked enough to retain his crown in Oman. But there was still a stage to ride: 146.5kms from As Sifah to the Matrah Corniche, and potential danger on the final circuit of the race.

The stage started at a flying pace. On the mountainous first part, endless attacks occurred but the pack never let the escapees take off. Eventually at km 17, a group of 5 men managed to make the difference including Gavazzi (AST), Van Avermaet (BMC), Terpstra (OPQ), Ligthart (LTB) and Roche (TCS). These men reached the top of the first climb of the day (Al Jissah, km 29), led by Ligthart, with a 1’35 advantage over the pack. But after growing to 2’ at km 37, that gap started dropping down as the pack moved closer to the first intermediate sprint. Indeed, while four of the five men were caught, Terpstra carried on alone and claimed the sprint with a 10” lead over the pack led by Van Hecke (TSV) and Kuchynski (KAT).

Nine men managed to power away from the pack at km 60, catching Terpstra and pulling away from the pack on the climb up Bousher Alamrat. In this front group were the likes of Agnoli (AST), Burghardt (BMC), Boaro (TCS) and Albasini (OGE). But after enjoying a 2’ advantage at km 66, the pack moved closer and closer. Bazzana (UHC) made it first to the top ahead of Van Emden (BEL) and Minard (ALM) while the pack was only 40” adrift.

Just after the descent, the rhythm wasn’t going to slow down as Nibali (AST), Cancellara (TFR) and Kreuziger (TCS) were on the attack. Eventually the pack bunched up together with only Bazzana carrying on in the lead at km 88. The Italian was soon caught by two other men: Juul Jensen (TCS) and Hepburn (OGE). The pack slowed down and the front three pulled away. At km 99, they had a 1’30 lead over the pack led by teams Lotto-Belisol and SKY.


Photo: ©ASO/B. Bade

As they entered the final circuit on the Matrah Corniche, that gap had dropped down to 45”. At the second bonus sprint (1st passage on the line, km 129.5), claimed by Bazzana in front of Hepburn and Juul Jensen, the pack remained 26” adrift. The front three managed to hang on to the lead all the way to the final kilometre. Time had then come for a bunched sprint. Like on stages 1 and 3, André Greipel (LTB) powered to victory. The German champion claimed his third win of this edition, his 5th in Oman, beating last year’s winner on the Corniche, Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) and Sam Bennett (TNE) to the line.

Finishing in the pack, Christopher Froome (SKY) wins the Tour of Oman for the second consecutive year. The 2013 Tour de France winner who had been impressive on the mountain top finish at Jabal Al Akhdhar claims overall victory with a 26” lead over Van Garderen and 31” over Rigoberto Uran. A great way to start the year for the rider from team SKY who will also be hoping to defend his crown on the Grande Boucle, come July. Winner of 3 stages, André Greipel finishes top of the points’ classification and therefore wins the Green Jersey, while Romain Bardet, 13th overall, claims the White Jersey for the best young rider. Ever present during the 6 days of the race, Preben Van Hecke (TSV) wins the Most Aggressive Rider’s standings.

Froome told “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.”

Van Garderen Runner-Up At Tour Of Oman
Tejay van Garderen continued the BMC Racing Team’s string of early-season successes Sunday with a runner-up placing to Chris Froome (Team Sky) at the Tour of Oman. Van Garderen finished second to Froome Saturday on the race’s uphill finish on Green Mountain and the 26-second margin between the two after that stage stayed the same, “It was a hard start and a big group got away, which kind of put Sky under a little pressure,” he said. “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.”

Rigoberto Uran: “I’m happy about this result and the support I had from the team during the race,” Uran said. “I was maybe hoping to do something better, but I also have to say that it’s not a bad result for real first race of my season. The team worked perfectly for me and I have to thank them for all of their work. I come back to Europe with good sensations finishing on the podium at Tour of Oman. I will do Strade Bianche next, and I am curious about it because I have never seen the parcours before. Then, I will go to Tirreno-Adriatico as the next step of my season.”

1 GREIPEL André Lotto Belisol 03:25:41
3 BENNETT Sam Team NetApp – Endura
4 KRISTOFF Alexander Team Katusha
5 MøRKøV Michael Tinkoff-Saxo
6 FORTIN Filippo Bardiani – CSF
7 TRENTIN Matteo Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9 BOZIC Borut Astana Pro Team
10 SAGAN Peter Cannondale

11 SWIFT Ben Team Sky
12 STYBAR Zdenek Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
19 HAUSSLER Heinrich IAM Cycling
20 DEMPSTER Zakkari Team NetApp – Endura
29 BOONEN Tom Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
37 FROOME Christopher Team Sky
38 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team
39 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team
73 SCHLECK Andy Trek Factory Racing
75 CANCELLARA Fabian Trek Factory Racing
76 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing
78 KöNIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura
117 ROCHE Nicolas Tinkoff-Saxo 01:11

OVERALL (final)
1 FROOME Christopher Team Sky 22:02:26
2 VAN GARDEREN Tejay BMC Racing Team 00:26
3 URAN Rigoberto Omega Pharma – Quick-Step 00:31
4 RODRIGUEZ Joaquim Team Katusha 00:48
5 GESINK Robert Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 00:57
6 POZZOVIVO Domenico AG2R La Mondiale 01:01
7 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis Team Sky 01:19
8 KREUZIGER Roman Tinkoff-Saxo 01:25
9 TSCHOPP Johann IAM Cycling 01:32
10 MORENO Daniel Team Katusha 01:34
11 JEANNESSON Arnold 01:50
12 NIBALI Vincenzo Astana Pro Team 01:51
13 BARDET Romain AG2R La Mondiale 01:53
14 IMPEY Daryl Orica GreenEDGE 01:58
15 LöFKVIST Thomas IAM Cycling ,,
16 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen Lotto Belisol ,,
17 KöNIG Leopold Team NetApp – Endura 02:15
18 SANTAROMITA Ivan Orica GreenEDGE 02:21
19 SCHLECK Fränk Trek Factory Racing 02:29
20 NIEVE Mikel Team Sky 02:44



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