On the final day of the Tour of Oman, Peter Velits managed to hang on to his slim 1" lead to win this third edition of the Tour of Oman. The Slovakian triumphs ahead of Nibali and Gallopin. The sixth stage was claimed after a bunched sprint by Marcel Kittel, winning for the second time of the week, ahead of Sagan and Farrar.
On the final day of the Tour of Oman, Peter Velits managed to hang on to his slim 1" lead to win this third edition of the Tour of Oman. The Slovakian triumphs ahead of Nibali and Gallopin. The sixth stage was claimed after a bunched sprint by Marcel Kittel, winning for the second time of the week, ahead of Sagan and Farrar.The final stage of the Tour of Oman, finishing on the Matrah Corniche, traditionnaly ends in a bunched sprint and the name of the overall winner is often already known, but with only one second between overall leader Peter Velits (OPQ) and his closest rival, Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ), a lot could still happen on this sunny and windy day.The 120 remaining riders took off from Al Khawd just after noon for a 130.5km stage heading to a final circuit on the Matrah corniche. After less than a kilometre of racing, four men powered away from the pack : Schar (BMC), Clarke (CSS), Lemair (BGT) and Rodgers (RTS). Their advantage grew to a maximum 2’15 at km 6 but then dropped down under the influence of the Liquigas team taking on the chase for their leader Nibali in his quest for that precious bonus second that could change the fate of the race. Once the front four were caught at km 44.5, a fantastic battle started for positions before the first intermediate sprint. And what a fight it was between Liquigas and Omega Parma - Quickstep. Tom Boonen (OPQ) managed to claim the sprint at the Wave Muscat (km 53), beating Sagan (LIQ) and Van Keirsbulck (OPQ), preventing Nibali from gainning any bonus second.Just after this first episode, three riders took off on a break at km 63: Vandevelde, Van Summeren (both GRM) and Ten Dam (RAB). Their advantage reached 1’45 at km 79. On the final 7-kilometre circuit on the Matrah Corniche, the gap dropped down with the Omega Pharma - Quickstep riders taking command of the chase. The second bonus sprint (km 102.5) was claimed by Vandevelde ahead of Ten Dam and Van Summeren while the pack remained 1’15 adrift. The front men stayed clear of the pack and still had 1’05 with 3 laps to go. They were finally caught at the beginning of the final lap (km 123.5). With the big teams in command of the pack, time had come for a final bunched sprint. Winner of stage 3, Marcel Kittel (PRO) claimed his second success on the Tour. The German beat Sagan (LIQ) and Farrar (GRM) to the line. Comfortably settled in the pack and well protected by his team mates, Peter Velits (OPQ), 25th on the day, captured the overall victory of this 3rd edition. In the final GC, the Slovakian beats Nibali by just a second and Gallopin by 17". The Green jersey finally goes to Sagan thanks to the points he conquered on this final day. The best young rider (white jersey) is Frenchman Tony Gallopin while Klaas Lodewijk wins the fighting-spirit jersey.His Excellency Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality and Tour of Oman organiser explained his rationale at the finish line for the creation of the Tour of Oman. "Every city is unique with different resources, problems and opportunities all merging together to create a distinctive urban culture. We are embarking on a series of projects to make Muscat the city for people and this includes development of infrastructure, urban design and also the creation of major events that transcend boundaries of age, nationality, language and gender. Our objective is for cycling to make a real contribution to the social and economic progress within Oman and in the three years since we started the Tour, the popularity and understanding of the sport has grown exponentially. For the thousands of children who now welcome these elite athletes at every stage of the race, they have caught a short glimpse of the strong will and determination that is required to succeed. This knowledge will seed their enthusiasm to now strive to be the best they can be. It is an invaluable lesson and its impact will be shown in the years to come."