Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannodale) has won the second stage of the Tour of Oman.
The 21-year-old Slovak national road race champion was first across the line after 140km of flat terrain from Sur to Wadi Dayqah Dam.
Sagan, who won last year’s Tour of Poland, and his Liquigas-Cannondale teammates reeled in a four-man breakaway with little more than five kilometres remaining.
Australian rider, Baden Cooke (GreenEDGE) finished second, ahead of Rabobank’s Tom-Jelte Slagter.
Speaking afterwards, a delighted Sagan said: “I’m very pleased to have broken the ice, but I wasn’t that impatient about getting my first win. I debuted in Qatar where I really wanted to race but I knew that the finishes didn’t suit me much: they were more for the pure sprinters. Today was the first real opportunity on this trip. The team worked all day to put me in a position to win; so I dedicate this win to my teammates. The leader’s jersey? Well, of course it would be great to hang on to it until the last stage, but it will all depend on what happens during Saturday’s tough stage. I’m taking each day as it comes because there might be another opportunity to win before we get to the mountains .”
Team Sky’s Chris Sutton finished seventh on the stage and moves to seventh overall. His directeur sportif, Servais Knaven, said the team had performed well on a tough finish.
“It was a new finale we’d never done before so we didn’t know quite how it play out. We had some information from Rod [Ellingworth, Race coach] so we knew it was hard. Everyone gave it everything they could to stay up there for as long as possible.
“CJ got seventh which I think on this stage is a really good result. It was 500 metres uphill and then 300m flat. It was a really hard finish but the team worked well to put him in the right position with a lead-out on the climb. They were there where they had to be so that was good to see,” said Knaven.
He hinted that world road race champion, Mark Cavendish, could feature in tomorrow’s 144.5km from Wilayat Al Awabi to Murtafat Al Matar – Wilayat al Seeb.
“Tomorrow starts off downhill and should be a quick stage for the sprinters so we are looking forward to that and it’s a good chance for us,” he said.
Tour of Oman stage two
1) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Liquigas-Cannondale – 3:10:44
2) Baden Cooke (AUS) – GreenEDGE
3) Tom Jelte Slagter (NED) – Rabobank
4) Tony Gallopin (FRA) – Radioshack-Nissan-Trek
5) Ramunas Navardauskas (LTU) – Garmin-Barracuda
6) Nacer Bouhanni (FRA) – FDJ-Big Mat
7) Christopher Sutton (AUS) – Sky Pro Cycling
8) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Radioshack-Nissan-Trek
9) Fabian Cancellara (SUI) – Radioshack-Nissan-Trek + 4”
10) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto Belisol