Qurayyat’s the charm for Charmig
February 12 th 2022 - 16:35 [GMT + 4]
Anthon Charmig (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) had set himself the goal of taking his first pro win this season - the 23 year-old Danish talent did it as early as February, with a dominant performance on the slopes of Qurayyat! His victory ahead of Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic) also makes him the third leader of the race, after Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team). But the gaps remain extremely tight ahead of more climbing challenges on day 4 and the iconic ascent of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) on stage 5.
Temperatures are already high as the 98-man peloton roll from Sultan Qaboos University ahead of a 180km rolling stage to Qurayyat. The challenges of the day attract six early attackers: Peio Goikoetxea (Euskaltel-Euskadi), leader of the most aggressive rider classification, is back on the move, alongside Kevin Van Melsen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Samuele Zoccarato (Bardiani CSF Faizane’), Louis Blouwe (Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB), Angel Fuentes (Burgos-BH) and Umberto Poli (Team Novo Nordisk).
UAE and Quick-Step control the day
They cover 42.2km in the first hour of racing to open a gap of 3’10’’. Goikoetxea leads the way to the summit of the climb of Al Jabal Street (Bousher Al Amerat, km 43), as well as in the intermediate sprint of Al Amerat (km 56.5), strengthening his hold on the gold jersey and claiming a total of 6 bonus seconds. He was only 13’’ behind Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) at the start of the stage.
UAE Team Emirates and the Wolfpack control the day and bring the gap down to 2’ as the race enters the last 50km. Umberto Poli drops from the breakaway back to the bunch before the final challenges of the day.
All in on the final ascent
Goikoetxea still leads the way to the second intermediate sprint of the day (km 157.5). The gap drops down to under 1’ with 20km to go. And the attackers are eventually reeled in just ahead of the final 10km.
Mark Cavendish and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) set the pace to the last ascent: 2.8km with an average gradient of 6.5%. Arkea-Samsic set a high tempo for Elie Gesbert, but Anthon Charmig (Uno-X) powers to victory with an impressive final kick.