André Greipel took his fourth win of 2014 today as he sprinted to claim the opening stage of this year’s Tour of Oman.
The German crossed the line first in Naseem Garden having been on the wrong side of a crosswind-induced split in the peloton with 20 kilometres remaining.
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Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) also missed the move, but after a frantic 10-minute chase, the peloton came together again.
Orica-GreenEdge’s Leigh Howard took second, ahead of Italian neo-pro Nicola Ruffoni (Bardiani-CSF).
“No other team deserved the win more than we did,” said Greipel.
“With [Marcel] Sieberg and Jürgen Roelandts, I have really srong lead-out guys, and they timed it perfectly. Even with a headwind [approaching the finish] they looked after me.”
Defending champion Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton, and sits 10 seconds behind Greipel on GC by virtue of time bonuses.
Tour of Oman 2014, stage one : As Suwayq Castle – Naseem Garden
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol
2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF
4. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr
5. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6. Michael van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen
7. Barry Markus (Ned) Belkin
8. Steve Chainel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
9. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
10. Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana
13. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
24. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky all at st.
General classification after stage one
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol in 4-03-21
2. Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge at 0-04
3. Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at 0-06
4. Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen at st.
5. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick Step at 0-07
6. Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF at st.
7. Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek at 0-09
8. Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare at st.
9. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr at 0-10
10 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
18. Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
29. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky all at st.
Chris Froome says that he wants to replicate his 2013 season, starting with a defence of his Tour of Oman
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