André Greipel of Lotto-Belisol, who missed the Tour of Qatar due to stomach problems and a fever, has continued his impressive start to the season by winning the opening stage of the Tour of Oman.
The German, who last month won three stages of the Santos Tour Down Under, outsprinted Katusha’s Denis Galizmyanov and Garmin-Barracuda’s Tyler Farrar to win today’s 159km stage to Wadi Al Hoqay.
World champion Mark Cavendish of Team Sky, who crashed in Qatar on Friday, did not figure in the finale, with team mate Cj Sutton tweeting afterwards, "Well that didn't go 2 plan.! @MarkCavendish got put in the dirt and 1 foot out. Don't know how he held it up.@TeamSky were strong."
A four-man breakway group, comprising BMC Racing’s Danilo Wyss, Mikhail Ignatiev of Katusha, Champion Systems rider Jiao Pengda and Bridgestone-Anchor’s Alexandre Lemair had at one point built up a lead of five minutes over the peloton.
However, with Lotto-Belisol and Team Sky leading the chase, the catch was inevitable, although not before Ignatiev had attacked again 20km out to try and stay away.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.