Tour of Oman: Devenyns moves into top 5
The Belgian confirmed his solid early season form with another strong showing at the Middle East race.
Dries Devenyns was again part of the reduced bunch that made it over the last climb of Tour of Oman, contesting the top positions at the finish in Wadi Dayqah Dam, which returned to the race after a five-year hiatus. Just as in 2013, puncheurs, classics specialists and Grand Tour contenders alike were left in contention for the win, after Astana's impetus had whittled down the peloton on the day's third classified climb.
As the road went up, it was Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) who attacked and opened a small gap on his opponents, surging away to the win and the leader's jersey, ahead of Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana). Devenyns expertly paced himself on the punchy finish and arrived with a small group, nine seconds later, jumping to fifth place in the overall classification.
Thursday strong effort left Dries content at the finish in Wadi Dayqah Dam: "It was a good day today, long and not too fast, although the final was actually quite hard. Some guys struggled a bit with the heat, but I seem to handle it better than the average. Everything was together when we reached the bottom of the climb, where Greg attacked immediately making a selection and stretching out the pack. He got a gap and we were left chasing, separated by a few seconds. I came home eighth today and moved up in the GC, which makes me look forward with even more confidence to the next stages."
On Friday, the riders will line up at the start in Yiti for the traditional stage to the Ministry of Tourism, where they'll arrive after a three-lap circuit over the Al Jabal climb, which is expected to create new gaps in the general standings.
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