Tour of Oman: Devenyns finishes sixth overall
Rémi Cavagna steals the show on the last day, after spending the day in the breakaway and getting caught with under three kilometers to go.
We're less than two months into the season, and Dries Devenyns is one of the most impressive riders, having concluded all three races he has done so far in the top 10. After flying under the radar on his way to a fifth place at the Tour Down Under and coming just outside the podium in the Cadel Evans Road Race, the 34-year-old veteran recorded a solid sixth at the Tour of Oman, at the end of a hard and fast race, with tough climbs and sweltering temperatures.
Top 10 finishes in three of the six stages, including in the one that ended on the brutal Green Mountain, helped Dries get his best ever result in three participations at the Tour of Oman, one minute down on overall winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), which fueled him with confidence and optimism for the big races of the season, where he's ready to ride in service of his leaders.
"In terms of results, this is one of my best starts to the season. I was already pumped up after Australia, and once you get going, you keep the ball rolling, and that's what I did here in Oman. On the second day of the Tour of Oman I came with the best and I knew then I can finish high in the GC. Now I'll see that I recover before my next races, where the plan is to work for our leaders."
The sixth and final day of the event (Al Mouj Muscat – Matrah Corniche, 135.5 kilometers) belonged to another Quick-Step Floors rider, Rémi Cavagna, who attacked from the start together with four men, forging a five-minute advantage. The last part of the stage featured two climbs, and it was on the second of these that Rémi instigated a move to which only Pim Ligthart (Roompot) could respond.
Not content with the pace, the 22-year-old Frenchman decided to go solo and launched a searing attack, dislodging Ligthart and eking out a 45-second advantage with ten kilometers to go. Five kilometers from the line, he was still half a minute ahead, but a series of accelerations from the pack led to him being overhauled inside the final 2500 meters.
"I was really motivated for this last stage, was thinking of getting the victory, but the final found me disappointed. It was more or less similar to what happened last year in Poland, where I was caught with around five kilometers left. On the climb I had a tailwind, but on the flat it changed to headwind, and this helped the peloton, who was coming full gas from behind. Ok, I didn't get the win, but if you don't try, you don't have a chance. This is important to me, to always try and see how good my legs are so early in the season", said Rémi, who will now travel to Europe.
In the sprint won by Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Davide Martinelli finished in sixth place, for Quick-Step Floors' sixth top 10 at the Middle East race.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images