After an extremely eventful final part to the stage, Peter Sagan flew to victory. The Slovakian rider impressed on the hills around Wadi Dayqah Dam eventually beating Cooke and Slagter to the line. Sagan captures the overall leader’s red jersey.
On day Two of the Tour of Oman, the cyclists delayed their return to two wheels in order to take the National Ferry boat Shinaz down south to the historic port town of Sur where the 127 riders of the Tour of Oman were wonderfully welcomed in Sur for the start of stage 2. In perfect weather conditions they took off at 1.24pm for a 140.5 stage and rode across Al Ijah bridge to then race pass Nasmah, Sikekrah, Qalhat and Tiwi at speeds of over 42 km/ph. Hugging the coast for nearly 100 kilometres, the cyclists got a unique taste of the country as they sped through spectacularly empty, long and flat roads before being greeted by local dancers and children waving flags and cheering as they passed through the numerous villages on the route, leaving smiles on the faces all round and showcasing Omani hospitality to the world.
As soon as kilometre 8, Lodewijk (BMC) managed to break away from the peloton. HE was soon caught by three companions: Kohler (BMC), Boucher (FDJ) and Caccia (FAR). THeir advantage went from 1’ at km 17 ot a max 3’40 at km 26, before dropping down. At the firs intermediate position (km31), claimed by Lodewijk (BMC) ahead of Caccia (FAR) and Kohler (BMCV), the gas was 3’30.
After nearly 100 kilometres, the peloton found themselves switching gear with their first climb just before the second bonus sprint (at km 103.5) which was again claimed by Lodewijk ahead of Caccia and Kohler, while the pack was still well in control of the escapees, some 2’45 adrift. The battle went on and the front riders wtill had a 2’25 lead with 20kms to go, and then 1’20, ten kilometres from the line.after passing the Sink Hole as they headed into Wadi Al Arbeiren and Al Lasmul before the race was won after another closely fought sprint finish here in Wadi Dayqah Dam.
Despite solo attempts from Kohler, the front men were finally caught with 4kms to go. While only the best managed to remain in the pack on the final hill climbs, Peter Sagan (LIQ), proved to be the strongest. The Slovakian was at the height of expectations, beating Baden Cooke (GEC) and Tom Slagter (RAB) to the line, which was packed with crowds who had come down to the awe inspiring Wadi Dayqah Dam to watch the race unfold.
The overall leader’s red jersey switches shoulders and goes to Sagan who also claims the White jersey for the best young rider The fighting spirt Jersey (red / green squares) goes to Lodewijk (BMC).
The prize giving ceremony took place overlooking the dam with the Al Hajar mountains rising as a magnificent backdrop to the festivities. The Guest of Honour, Dr Amar Al Rawas, CEO Omantel stated of the occasion " The Whole ambience is one of celebration, not only for the winners, but also for everyone who was here. The experience, the scenery, the water and the mountains combined with the fact there are so many people from different ages including lots of kids who are at the age who will be inspired by these champions to achieve themselves in the future. This is now the 3rd edition of the tour and more and more people are enjoying cycling since the first edition which we were also proud sponsors of. This was my first visit to this stunning area and I look forward to watching the next four stages."