Mark Cavendish (opens in new tab) banged his handlebars in frustration as he crossed the finish line of the final stage of the Tour of Oman (opens in new tab) in sixth place, after being boxed out in the final sprint.
Fernando Gaviria of UAE Team Emirates (opens in new tab) won the final stage, as Jan Hirt of Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert won overall.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl (opens in new tab)sprinter was boxed out by Gaviria's leadout man Maximiliano Richeze. The Colombian won his second of the Tour, to secure the green points jersey. He finished ahead of Kaden Groves of BikeExchange-Jayco (opens in new tab) in second, with Arkéa Samsic's Amaury Capiot rounding out the podium.
The sixth and final stage of the Tour of Oman consisted of a 132.5km route from Al Mouj Muscat to Mutrah Cornich, which ended with an inevitable bunch sprint. Cavendish won the Mutrah Corniche stage race in 2011, and was hoping to emulate that performance today.
Fernando Gaviria a remporté la dernière étape du #TourofOman devant Kaden Groves et Amaury Capiot. 4e place pour Paul Penhoët Jan Hirt remporte le classement général #tourofoman2022 #TOO #TOO2022 pic.twitter.com/ziIB0csidOFebruary 15, 2022
Approaching the finish line, Cavendish attempted to find a way through along the barriers in the sprint, when Richeze drifted to the right and ultimately closed the door on the Manxman.
Crossing the line in sixth, the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider remonstrated with the Argentine while celebrated winning both the stage and the points classification.
Following his crash (opens in new tab) yesterday, officials docked the 36-year-old nine points (opens in new tab) for holding onto a car while returning to the bunch. This left Cavendish trailing Gaviria and Groves by one and two points respectively, meaning the final sprint would decide the standings. The controversial moment, though, scuppered any chances he had of clawing back the deficit to either rider.
"I’m really happy to take the last stage here in Oman. It’s been a good week for me and the team," Gaviria said post-stage.
"I’m happy because my team worked well and stayed focused on winning the stage and we were able to deliver. From the beginning we tried to take control of the race and luckily I had good legs in the finish and could take the sprint."
Meanwhile, Hirt won his first professional race in six years with overall victory, his last coming in the 2016 Tour of Austria where he won both a stage and the general classification.
He entered the final day leading the GC, having comfortably won the fifth stage on Green Mountain to overtake Quick-Step's Fausto Masnada at the top of the rankings. The Czech rider managed to hold on on the final day too, finishing a minute ahead of Masnada in second place, while Rui Costa of UAE-Team Emirates finished third.
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