Ewan roars again
February 10 th 2024 - 16:00 [GMT + 4]
Caleb Ewan was the fastest in the mass gallop at the end of stage 1 of the Tour of Oman 2024, in front of the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, where he took his first victory since his return to Jayco AlUla. On a slightly rising final straight, the Australian ‘Pocket Rocket’ got the better of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) in what could very well be the only opportunity for the sprinters this week in the Sultanate. On Sunday, the road rises to Qurayyat… And Ewan will face it with the red leader jersey.
The sun illuminates the Oman Across the Ages Museum as the peloton sets off towards Muscat for stage 2 of the Tour of Oman 2024. Attacks fly from the start and, after a few attempts, five riders get away from the bunch: Oscar Pelegri (Burgos-BH), Nur Amirull Fakhruddin Mazuki (Terengganu Cycling Team), Mohamed Al-Wahibi, Faisal Al-Mamari (Oman National Team) and Polychronis Tzortzakis (Roojai Insurance).
Sprint teams control the day
Fabio Jakobsen’s DSM-Firmenich PostNL and Caleb Ewan’s Team Jayco AlUla quickly move to the front of the bunch to control the day (maximum gap: 3’15’’ at km 36). Al-Wahibi suffers a mechanical that forces him back to the bunch after 40 kilometres of racing.
UAE Team Emirates also participate in the chase on the day after Finn Fisher-Black’s success in the Muscat Classic. The gap drops down to under 2 minutes as the riders enter the final 70 kilometres of the stage.
After he won the first intermediate sprint ahead of Tzortzakis, Pelegri is beaten by the Greek in the second one (63.9km to go). The Spaniard then drops back to the bunch. Their ranking in the overall standings will be the decider as to who takes the gold jersey as leader of the combativity ranking.
As the peloton closes in on the lead trio - 20’’ with 20km to go -, Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X Mobility) is dropped from the bunch due to a mechanical. But the Norwegian expert of the Tour of Oman (9 victories in previous editions) quickly returns.
The attackers are eventually caught by the bunch with 12 kilometres to go. A huge battle for the front positions ensue, with virtually every team trying to position their sprinters and leaders. Jayco AlUla masters this game and Max Walscheid launches Caleb Ewan to victory ahead of Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) and Alexander Kristoff.