Tour of Oman opens with quiet stage
As expected, the winner was decided following a bunch sprint in Muscat.
A four-man breakaway consisting of Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Maxime Farazijn (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pierre-Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Brian Van Goethem (Roompot) animated the first day of the Tour of Oman (Nizwa – Sultan Qaboos University, 162.5 kilometers) after attacking early on the stage and taking their maximum advantage to three minutes.
Keen on not missing one of the few opportunities they had at this edition to hit the spotlight, the sprinters sent their teams to the front as soon as the escape formed and made sure of bringing them back with ten kilometers to go, thus giving themselves plenty of time to assemble the lead-out trains and fight for position.
Fabio Jakobsen sprinted for Quick-Step Floors in the final 200 meters of stage 1, won by Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) over Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo). For the 21-year-old Dutch neo-pro, this is just the second race of the season, after being part last week of the team that helped Elia Viviani capture the GC and a brace of stage victories at the Dubai Tour, which our team won for the fourth consecutive year.
The Tour of Oman will continue on Wednesday, with a 167.5km-long stage featuring four classified climbs; the last of these can be used as a launch pad by the attackers, as it comes with less than ten kilometers to go.
Photo: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images