Tour of Oman Stage 5: Van Avermaet Second in Sprint20. February 2016, Muscat (OMAN) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet again showed his good form early in the season, sprinting to second place on stage 5 of the Tour of Oman behind Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data).
Stage 5 may have been a short one at only 119.5km, but the triple ascent of the Bousher Al Amerat climb made for a tough day of racing.
A three rider breakaway formed early in the stage and managed to hold the peloton off until the second Bousher Al Amerat climb, making way for attacks on the last ascent and run in to the finish.
Michael Schär put in the hard yards to bridge the gap for Van Avermaet on the final descent, eventually forming a group of 40 riders who were left to sprint to the line.
It came together late in the stage for Van Avermaet.
“It was a short stage with a hard start. We didn’t control the race which was pretty important I think. We were not the big favorites for today because the climbs were pretty hard, but I came in at the end in a really good position.”
“The team did a great job in bringing everything back together and it was me and Boasson Hagen against each other in the sprint again. I think Boasson Hagen is just in really good shape and for the moment I couldn’t beat him.”
“It is a different way of racing here than the Classics in Europe. The roads here are wider so you have more time to recover compared to the narrow roads in Belgium so I’m looking forward to getting back to Europe to race.”
BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato praised the team’s performance.
“Today’s stage was not a course that was particularly suited to our riders with the steep climbs, so they did a great job to put Greg in a good position for the sprint. Daniel Oss attacked on the second climb to try and bridge the gap to the breakaway and make the race harder for everyone and Michael Schär fought to remain with Greg on the final climb and bring him to the front group for the sprint.”
Tomorrow the peloton lines up for the final stage of Tour of Oman, 130.5km from The Wave Muscat and finishing with three laps of the Matrah Corniche.
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