Tour of Oman: Top Ten Finish for Van Avermaet on Final Day of Racing18. February 2018, Matrah Corniche, Muscat (OMN) — Road Team
The final day of racing at the Tour of Oman came down to the previously predicted bunch sprint with Greg Van Avermaet securing a top ten finish, crossing the line eighth in Matrah Corniche.
In what has become traditional at this year’s Tour of Oman, the breakaway went away early on stage 6 with five riders opening up an advantage over the peloton after just 5km of racing.
However, with a bunch sprint up for grabs at the finish line, the peloton wanted to keep control of proceedings and with 35km, of the 135.5km course, covered, the gap peaked at 4’30”.
Heading into the second half of the stage, the pace began to heat up with BMC Racing Team setting a hard tempo at the front of the main bunch.
As a result, the advantage of the two remaining leaders plummeted to just one minute as they crossed the line to start the first of three laps of a 7.5km finishing circuit.
With 5km to go, Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors) was the only rider left out in front from the early breakaway, but a huge increase in pace saw him eventually caught as the peloton was split into several pieces heading under the flamme rouge.
In the end, it was Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) who took the win ahead of Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept Cycling Club) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) after a hectic bunch sprint.
While, Van Avermaet, who spent two days in the leader’s red jersey following his impressive stage win on day three, was BMC Racing Team’s best-placed rider, sprinting to eighth on the line.
Quotes From the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I am really happy with myself as first, and foremost I have to be good. I am also pretty happy with the team and how they rode this week. It was amazing. We already saw a good team effort in Valencia, and this week, the guys always put me in the position I wanted to be in when it was necessary. It was positive to see that everybody is in good shape. Now, I am looking forward to the first real goals of the season. My shape couldn’t be better so I hope to perform well in the first race.”
“My condition is there, and my numbers are there so staying healthy will be the most important thing. The conditions are always different in Belgium than here, but the weather forecast looks good just now. 10 degrees is not such a big shock, and it can also be good for the body. All we have to hope for is dry weather, and then we can really perform.”
“Every year the Tour of Oman is an amazing experience. It’s a completely different culture and different racing because we race a lot on highways, but it is quite a good preparation for our Classics campaign that is coming up next week. We have a lot of intense racing in good conditions, so I think it is the perfect training for us.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“It was a very nice week for us. The objective was to come here and try to win a stage which we did, and we were just short on a couple of other occasions. The riders did a very good job together for Greg, and we defended the jersey for two days. Of course, we didn’t have a chance for the overall GC in the end, but that was our plan. We wanted to put in some good training for the Classics and work together to build the team for the next objectives.”
“We have a very strong team and a very good spirit in the team at the moment so we will go to the opening weekend in Belgian knowing that we are prepared and very motivated.”
“In his first race with the team, Alberto Bettiol did a very good job, and he was the last man with Greg on stage 3. We have really seen his potential here, and I am happy that he is on the team. I think this year our team will be stronger than in the past.”
Tour of Oman
Stage 6: Al Mouj Muscat > Matrah Corniche, Muscat, 135.5km
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 2. Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept Cycling Club) 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 8. Greg Van Avermaet 26. Nicolas Roche 28. Alberto Bettiol
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 16. Greg Van Avermaet 19. Nicolas Roche 48. Alberto Bettiol