Vansevenant - Jorgenson, wonderkids tame Green Mountain
February 15 th 2023 - 13:43 [GMT + 3]
The final stage of the Tour of Oman 2023, set for the first time up the ascent of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), saw two 23-year-old talents rise to victory in an explosive finale. Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step) was the strongest on the brutal slopes of a 5.7km ascent with an average gradient of 10.5% to take an emotional victory in front of his family, who came to Oman to support him. Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) managed to hang on and save the leader’s red jersey for 1’’. A couple of days after his first professional victory, he becomes the first American overall winner of the Tour of Oman.
The final challenges of the Tour of Oman 2023 inspire seven attackers who get on the move as soon as they leave Samail: Lawrence Naesen (AG2R Citroën), Ceriel Desal (Bingoal WB), Angel Fuentes (Burgos-BH), the Oman National Champion Faisal Al Mamari (Oman National Team), Benjamin Perry (Human Powered Health), Irwandie Lakasek (Terengganu Polygon) and Manabu Ishibashi (JCL Team Ukyo).
Astana Qazaqstan pull the bunch
They open a gap of 4’10’’ after 14km but Astana Qazaqstan react at the front of the bunch to defend the options of Alexey Lutsenko, who dominated Jabal Al Akhdhar and the Tour of Oman on two occasions (2018, 2019). The Asian team control the gap around 2 minutes.
Al Mamari goes first through the intermediate sprint of Wadi Squt (62.7km to go). Some 20km further, Lakasek and then Al Mamari are dropped by their breakaway companions.
The gap increases again, up to 2’40’’, before the peloton up the ante inside the last 30km. But the attackers also increase their pace. They still hold an advantage of 1’20’’ at the bottom of the climb up Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain): 5.7km at 10.5% to decide the Tour of Oman 2023.
The final showdown
Intermarché-Circus-Wanty set the pace on the first part of the ascent. Naesen and Desal are the last riders to be caught, just inside the last 4km of ascent.
With 3km to go, only Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) can keep up with Rein Taarämae (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty). But the Estonian climber is the next rider to drop.
It eventually comes down to a brutal uphill sprint. Vansevenant is the most explosive to take victory in front of his parents and his sister. But Jorgenson hangs on to win the overall standings by 1’’.