Fisher-Black means class

February 9 th 2024 - 16:45 [GMT + 4]

Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) showed how far his budding talent can lead him with a thrilling solo victory in the second edition of the Muscat Classic. The Kiwi youngster dropped everyone with a strong attack on the final bumps of the day, with 5 kilometres to go. A small group gave it everything on the final run in to the finish in Al Bustan… But there was no containing the New-Zealander, powering to sweet victory after he already showed his strong legs in the AlUla Tour. Another rising talent, Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step), was the fastest from a very reduced bunch to take 2nd ahead of Belgium’s Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-B&B Hotels). The show is on in the Sultanate, with the Tour of Oman kicking-off on Saturday.

Muscat Classic 2024 - Highlights of Stage 1

Attacks fly from the start, in Al Mouj Muscat. On the seaside, two riders from Terengganu Cycling Team, Amman Cahyadi and Irwandie Lakasek, set off in the first kilometre alongside Japan’s Manabu Ishibashi (JCL Team Ukyo). Ariya Phounsavath (Roojai Insurance)tries to join them, unsuccessfully. He’s reeled in after 19km, as the gap from the peloton to the front of the race reaches 2’15’’.
A gap as high as 12’30’’On a flat terrain, the attackers build a gap of 12’30’’ at km 47. Cofidis react and pull the bunch for the likes of Bryan Coquard and Jesus Herrada, who already found success in the Sultanate of Oman in previous years.
Halfway through the race, the peloton move closer and closer: 8’ at the bottom of the first climb of the day - Jabal Road (Boucher al Amerat), summit at km 84.7 - and 3’35’’ at the bottom of the following downhill (85km to go)! On the valley leading to the final circuit, Cahyadi is dropped. Lakasek and Ishibashi pursue their effort into the last 75km with a lead back up to 3’50’’.

Herzog shows his talent
As the lead duo enter the final circuit around Al Bustan (64.9km to cover with 5 ascents), several riders are in pursuit: Tegshbayar Batsaikhan (Roojai Insurance) has joined Cahyadi 5’ behind the leaders; Lionel Taminiaux (Lotto Dstny) trails by 6’30’’. The peloton follow with a gap of 7’30’’.
On the climb of Hamriyah (900m at 10.1%), Ishibashi drops Lakasek and goes solo 63km away from the finish. Emil Herzog (Bora-Hansgrohe) attacks from the bunch. He catches and drops all the riders in between. Atop the climb of Al Jissah (47.7km to go), he is 2’30’’ behind Ishibashi while the peloton trail by 5’.

Herzog keeps pushing and summits the climb of Wadi Al Kabir (37.9km to go) with a gap of 30’’. The German youngster (2022 Junior World Champion) catches the Japanese attacker 34km away from the line. The gap to the peloton is down to 3’20’’.

The kiwi flies

Herzog goes solo at the bottom of the penultimate climb (Hamriyah, again), with 24km to go and a gap of 2’ to the bunch. He resits as hard as he can, only to be caught with 6km to go, on the final ascent up Al Jissah.
Just before the summit (5.4km to go), Finn Fisher-Black puts the hammer down. Davide De Pretto (Jayco-AlUla) and a handful of riders try to follow his move… They can’t.
Fisher-Black flies on the downhill and eventually punches to the air as he celebrates victory 4’’ ahead of the reduced bunch. At 21 years old, Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Steo) takes 2nd ahead of more experienced riders, Belgium’s Amaury Capiot (Arkéa-B&B Hotels) and France’s Bryan Coquard (Cofidis). They’re ready for the challenges of the Tour of Oman (February 10-14).

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