Nathan Haas takes stage 2 of the Tour of Oman 2018. The Katusha-Alpecin‘s colours defender takes the spoils on the finish line of Al Bustan after a 167,5 kilometers hot and hilly stage. Haas’ wheels precede the ones of Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and of Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), on whom the Australian rider gets the upper hand after a thrilling finale. Former Dimension Data man in also the new overall leader.
After 8 kilometers of racing today’s stage breakaway escapes. Four men led the race for most of its lengh: those are Loic Chetout (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Danny Pate (Rally Cycling). With just over 9 kilometers from the beginning of the try the break opens a gap of 4’ over the peloton, but the latter reduces the disadvantage to 2’25” on kilometer number 30. At his point the advantage of the leaders stabilizes until the group, between kilometer 75 and 110, gives a go to the break. With over 60 kilometers remaining the gap between the lead and the chase is around 4 minutes of width.
From the climb of Al Jabal street the peloton takes control of the race and with 38 kms to go the gap goes down below two minutes of advantage. The leaders, after having realized that the life of their attempt was running out, adjust the pace to the one of the peloton and a new gap stabilizes around 2’30” along a dozen kilometers. As the bunch approaches the Al Amiriyah climb the advantage breaks down and with just 10 kilometers to go the group reels in the break.
With eight kilometers remaining Markel Irizar goes solo. The Basque gains a 20 seconds advantage over the group and keeps alive his 150-kilometer-long try. The group predictably catches Irizar and suddently a counter-attack starts. Niki Terpstra (Quick Step Floors) have a go but Alexey Lutsenko, followed by Greg van Avermaet, jump across the gap. Twelve rider enjoy the ones just mentioned and the final sprint is approached with a 15-men leading group. In the end Nathan Haas wins his first victory since August 2016 and takes the overall lead.
Tour of Oman 2018 Stage 1 Classification
1 NATHAN HAAS – TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 04H 22′ 15″
2 GREG VAN AVERMAET – BMC RACING TEAM
3 ALEXEY LUTSENKO – ASTANA PRO TEAM
4 DRIES DEVENYNS – QUICK – STEP FLOORS
5 MERHAWI KUDUS – TEAM DIMENSION DATA
6 NIKI TERPSTRA – QUICK – STEP FLOORS
7 GORKA IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI – BAHRAIN – MERIDA
8 JESUS HERRADA LOPEZ – COFIDIS
9 FABIO FELLINE – TREK – SEGAFREDO
10 MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ MORENO -ASTANA PRO TEAM
11 DANIEL NAVARRO GARCIA – COFIDIS
12 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING – WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
13 VINCENZO NIBALI – BAHRAIN – MERIDA
14 FABIEN DOUBEY – WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
15 NICOLA CONCI – TREK – SEGAFREDO 0 + 00′ 05”
Tour of Oman 2018 Overall
1 HAAS Nathan Team Katusha – Alpecin 8:20:46
2 VAN AVERMAET Greg BMC Racing Team 0:04
3 LUTSENKO Alexey Astana Pro Team 0:06
4 KUDUS Merhawi Dimension Data 0:10
5 NIBALI Vincenzo Bahrain Merida ,,
6 DEVENYNS Dries Quick-Step Floors ,,
7 EIKING Odd Christian Wanty – Groupe Gobert ,,
8 LOPEZ Miguel Angel Astana Pro Team ,,
9 FELLINE Fabio Trek – Segafredo ,,
10 DOUBEY Fabien Wanty – Groupe Gobert ,,