Former Hour Record holder Matthias Brändle had been struggling during the Tour of Oman - right up until he won the final stage
Brändle (IAM Cycling) attacked from a four-rider breakaway in the final three kilometres, and successfully pursuited to the finish to hold off Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quick Step).
“Today was important for me – the last six or seven days, I was questioning myself because my body was not working,” he said.
“I had good feelings at home in training, but the last stages were hard. I couldn’t put any power through the pedals.
Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) won the final stage of the 2015 Tour of Oman, riding away from his three fellow escapees…
“My body hasn’t worked the same as normal in the 40°C. So yesterday, when I saw the forecast for today said the temperature would go down to 30°C, I looked at the stage’s profile and map and I started dreaming about winning it.”
Brändle said he realised the group would stay away when it entered the final 50 kilometres with an advantage of nine minutes over a nonplussed peloton, but the presence of Keisse in the group meant he did not want to take his chances in a sprint finish.
“I was afraid [of Keisse], that’s why I attacked,” he added. “I saw he was suffering on the last climb, so I thought ‘don’t take a risk, try and drop him before the finish’. “
The 25-year-old Austrian rider compared his victory here to the two he took on consecutive days in last year’s Tour of Britain into Exeter and Hemel Hempstead.
He said: “In the breakaway, the feeling was the same as it was in Britain: we had strong riders, we worked together.
“I told them we had to work together and not go too hard in the climbs. In the end I was lucky to be the strongest.”