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MUSCAT, Oman (AFP) — Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) sprinted to victory along the Muscat Corniche at the Tour of Oman on Sunday, beating France’s Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).
Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) clinched the overall victory over his teammate, Miguel Angel Lopez, as the bunch sprint finish meant there was no change in the overall standings.
“I’m very happy to have won my first victory with UAE Team Emirates,” said Kristoff, who will start at next week’s Abu Dhabi Tour. “I feel so much faith from the team and I’ve always had strong men at my side in these first races of the season.
“I enjoy this finish a lot. I won already here in 2016 and 2017, so I knew that today would be an optimum chance to succeed. In the meeting this morning, with the sports directors and teammates, we were very detailed and studied well every move we’d make in the final. That way, we took on the final kilometers perfectly … To win is always great, but to do it with a new team, it’s even better. It’s easy to find success in this team given that everything prepared perfectly.”
The sixth and final stage of the 2018 Tour of Oman traveled 135.5 kilometers from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Corniche. It was a fast route with only two climbs on tap for the riders and three finishing circuits in the city center of Muscat. Astana kept the breakaway under control in the early kilometers of the stage before the sprint teams came to the fore to ensure a bunch sprint.
Lopez won the Best Young Rider classification, while Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) took home the points jersey. Astana also won the Team classification.
“It is so nice to win in your first race of the season,” Lutsenko said of his overall victory. “I did a lot of work this winter, it was my goal to be on form for the start of the season and, finally, I am here at the podium as the winner. It was not a plan to try to win in Oman, but I felt really good the whole week here and also the team was absolutely fantastic.
“So, now I am coming back to Europe and already next weekend I will open my classics season in Belgium. Despite this overall victory, the classics are my biggest goal for the first half of the season, so I am really motivated to do it well.”
Stage 6, Top 10
- 1. Alexander Kristoff, (NOR) UAE TEAM EMIRATES,3:11:29
- 2. Bryan Coquard, (FRA) VITAL CONCEPT CYCLING CLUB, s.t
- 3. Giacomo Nizzolo, (ITA) TREK – SEGAFREDO,+00
- 4. Magnus Cort Nielsen, (DEN) ASTANA PRO TEAM, s.t
- 5. Nathan Haas, (AUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, s.t
- 6. Davide Martinelli, (ITA) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, s.t
- 7. Amaury Capiot, (BEL) SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, s.t
- 8. Greg Van Avermaet, (BEL) BMC RACING TEAM, s.t
- 9. Benjamin Declercq, (BEL) SPORT VLAANDEREN – BALOISE, s.t
- 10. Floris Gerts, (NED) ROOMPOT – NEDERLANDSE LOTERIJ, s.t
- 1. Alexey Lutsenko, (KAZ) ASTANA PRO TEAM, in 22:49:50
- 2. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno, (COL) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :11
- 3. Gorka Izagirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at :28
- 4. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at :30
- 5. Nathan Haas, (AUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at :32
- 6. Dries Devenyns, (BEL) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 01:05
- 7. Daniel Garcia Navarro, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRéDITS, at 01:14
- 8. Odd Christian Eiking, (NOR) WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 01:24
- 9. Merhawi Kudus, (ERI) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 01:29
- 10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, (POR) UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 01:37