Bob Jungels takes Tour of Oman first stage honours

Sports Tuesday 16/February/2016 20:45 PM
By: Times News Service
Bob Jungels takes Tour of Oman first stage honours

Muscat: A beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures welcomed the peloton of the 7th edition of the Tour of Oman for stage one of the event. One hundred and 41 riders gathered in front of the Oman Exhibition Center for the start of the race before taking on the 145.5-km ride all the way to Al Bustan. The pack took off just after 11:00 heading west before returning towards Muscat.
After only two kilometres, two men managed to break away: Christoph Pfingsten (BOA) and Kenny De Haes (WGG). Five kilometres later they were caught by three other riders: Berden De Vries (ROP), Pieter Van Speybrouck (TSV) and Peter Koning (DPC). The gap rapidly grew over an unconcerned pack and reached 6’20 at km 25. From then on teams Astana and BMC took the chase on and the gap dropped. At the first intermediate sprint (km 76), claimed by De Vries ahead of Dehaes and Van Speybrouck, the pack however remained 3’05 adrift.
The front five managed to stay clear of the pack all the way to km 116 when Dehaes and Koning were the first to be dropped. Four kilometres later, the remaining three escapees were caught by the peloton just before the first climb of the day. The pack remained bunched all the way to the top of Al Hamriyah where Janse Van Rensburg (DDD) made it first ahead of Amaury Capiot (TSV) and Laurens De Plus (EQS). Just after that first difficulty, Pavel Kochetkov (KAT) gave it a go. After enjoying a 25’’ advantage at km 125 he was also to be caught.
The second bonus sprint (km 136) was then won by Capiot in front of Faria (LAM) and Dmitry Kozontchuk (KAT). Time then came for the big battle between the favourites on the climb up Al Jissah. Among the first riders to be dropped was Richie Porte (BMC). Alexander Kristoff (KAT) winner of two stages here last year was the next of the big guns to struggle. Eventually, 16 men powered away.
Among the front group were the likes of Vincenzo Nibali (AST), Rui Costa (LAM), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Romain Bardet, Domenico Pozzovivo (ALM), Daniel Martin, Bob Jungels (EQS), Eduardo Sepulveda (FVC), Boasson Hagen (DDD) and Davide Rebellin (CCC). The final climb of the day (km 140) was conquered by Daniel Oss (BMC) ahead of Sven Erik Bystrom (KAT) and Jakob Fuglsang (AST).
With just under five kilometres to go, Sepulveda suffered a crash, losing all hopes of claiming this first stage in Oman. The front group remained together on the long downhill portion towards the final straight. With two kilometres to go, Bob Jungels (EQS) managed to pull away, enjoying a 7’’ lead before the final kilometre. The Luxemburg national champion stayed clear of his rivals and went on to capture his first ever victory in Oman. Jungels also claims his first success under his new Etixx Quickstep colours while Serge Pauwels (DDD), 6’’ adrift, finishes second and Romain Bardet third.
The day’s stage winner conquered the overall leader’s Red Jersey and has a 10’’ lead over Pauwels and 14’’ over Bardet. The Luxemburger also leads the points classification and the best young riders standings while Amaury Capiot (TSV) conquers the Most Aggressive rider’s jersey.