Tour of Oman: Hermans Secures Another Day in Leader’s Jersey16. February 2017, Quriyat (OMAN) — Road Team
Ben Hermans crossed the line of stage 3 of the Tour of Oman in third place after a tough uphill battle which saw him keep his overall lead heading into stage 4.
Unlike stage 2, a six-rider breakaway formed in the first 10km and built a steady advantage of more than four minutes.
BMC Racing Team was on the defence all day, working hard at the front of the peloton to protect Hermans’ lead and eventually bring the breakaway back.
As the peloton reached the 10km to go mark the battle was on for positioning and attacks started before the start of the final climb.
Daniel Oss was leading the peloton until the first switchback, when Laurens De Plus (QuickStep-Floors) attacked, followed by Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team).
Hermans made a move and it was only a select group, including eventual winner Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) and Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) who finished in second, who could go with him and overtake De Plus.
Hermans leads the General Classification by two seconds over Costa, and ten seconds over Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), and is leading the sprint classification.
Quotes from the Finish Lines
“It was very hard for everybody. Laurens De Plus (QuickStep-Floors) attacked and the tempo was a little too high for Greg Van Avermaet. We hoped Greg would be there to sprint in the last 200 meters for the victory but De Plus was too far ahead and I had to close the gap. Two other guys were in my wheel and they came over. I also took some bonus seconds so it wasn’t too bad.”
“I’m confident that I can hold onto the jersey. Two days in red is already a good result. We hope for a stage win with Greg so hopefully that may come tomorrow. Rui Costa is more of an explosive rider but you can see that I can be with him on these kind of climbs, so on a longer climb like Green Mountain, I think it will be more Merhawi Kudus (Team Dimension Data) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) who I have to look out for.”
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I was third on this stage last year but this year it was different. It’s not a problem though, we still have a good opportunity on tomorrow’s stage where I was second last year. We will see what happens.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director
“The plan was to let a small group without dangerous riders away and that happened immediately. We had the jersey and we had a favorite for this finish in Greg Van Avermaet, so we took on our responsibility to chase the whole day. We used Jempy Drucker and Kilian Frankiny, and later Martin Elmiger was helping. In the final 30km all of the other teams came out.”
“Greg wasn’t feeling 100% so he was waiting a bit before attacking. Ben was strong and finished in third. I think it was a good day for us. We saved the jersey and we will continue like this. Tomorrow is a short, but hard day. It will be difficult and we need to be prepared to be smart form the start.”
Tour of Oman
Stage 3 Sultan Qaboos University > Quriyat (162km)
Top 3: 1. Soren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb), 2. Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi), 3. Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Ben Hermans, 13. Greg Van Avermaet, 38. Daniel Oss.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.