Van Avermaet Takes Third in Tough Uphill Battle17. February 2016, Muscat, Oman — Road Team
It was another third place finish for Greg Van Avermaet on today’s testing second stage of the Tour of Oman, with Edvald Boasson Hagen taking the stage and the leader’s jersey.
In a repeat of yesterday’s opening stage, a six rider breakaway stayed away for most of the stage before being caught just prior to the final 2,8 kilometer climb.
The steep ascent cracked all but a small group of riders who were left to battle it out in an uphill sprint finish, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) just edging Van Avermaet out for second place.
Van Avermaet now sits third in the General Classification, six seconds behind Boasson Hagen.
“It was a hard stage. The team did a really good job to make it harder in the flat part as we’ve got some strong guys going into the wind so we tried to split the peloton up,” Van Avermaet explained.
“For me it was about trying to go as far as possible and hoping that the others cracked in the sprint. Boasson Hagen was still there and just flew past. With 200m to go we started sprinting and Boasson Hagen was faster.”
Richie Porte lost further time on the climb today.
“We will see on the Green Mountain stage and try to test Richie there,” BMC Racing Team Sports Director Fabio Baldato said.
“He came here from Australia only two days before the race so for him it’s best to go day by day, step by step, to prepare for the next race which will be Paris-Nice. He still has two weeks until then.”
Stage 3 tomorrow, 176.5 kilometers from Al Sawadi Beach to Naseem Park, looks set for a showdown between the sprinters.
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