Fisher-Black, more than a dark horse

February 11 th 2024 - 15:52 [GMT + 4]

A couple of days after he opened his tally for 2024, in the Muscat Classic, Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) punched his way to another victory on stage 2 of the Tour of Oman 2024. The young New-Zealander proved again to be the strongest when the road rose on the final ascent of the day, in Qurayyat. Showered by the heavy rain (an unusual sight in the Sultanate to spice up the race), Fisher-Black got the better of Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step), already runner-up on Friday, and Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), already 3rd last year in Qurayyat. The road keeps rising in the Tour of Oman with an even harder finish up Eastern Mountain on Monday.

Tour of Oman 2024 - Highlights of Stage 2

The rolling and windy start from As Sifah inspires aggressive riders. Attacks fly from the start and Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) is the first rider to open a gap, after 8 km. The Polish shows his power and his experience but the battle goes on behind him, with several counter-attacks. The bunch splits and Benedetti is caught at km 17. Everyone gets back together 4 kilometres further into the race except for Wan Abdul Rahman Hamdan (Terengganu Cycling Team), who is forced to abandon by a crash.

The break finally sets off

Tegshbayar Batsaikhan (Roojai Insurance) initiates a new move at km 23. He is followed by Oscar Pelegri (Burgos-BH), wearing the golden jersey as leader of the combativity standings, and Nariyuki Masuda (JCL Team Ukyo). Pelegri dominates both the first intermediate sprint (Al Jissah, km 28.4) and the climbs of Al Jissah (km 32.2) and Al Wadi Al Kabir (km 38.8).

As the gap reaches 5 minutes after 46 km, several teams move to the front of the bunch to control the day. UAE Team Emirates are the most involved. The attackers push their lead to a maximum of 5’40’’ halfway through the race (85km to go).

Fisher-Black flies under the rain

Pelegri also takes the full points in the second intermediate sprint (58.7km to go) to bring his tally up to 17 points. Batsaikhan has 8, and Tzortzakis follows with 5, after he was in the breakaway during stage 1. The gap to the bunch is down to 3’20’’.

Into the final 50 km, heavy rains shower the riders. Soudal Quick-Step join UAE Team Emirates in the chase.The gap drops down to 1’45’’ with 30 kilometres to go and riders from Astana Qazaqstan Team also pull the bunch.The attackers are eventually caught with 8km to go.

Arkéa-B&B Hôtels set a strong pace on the ascent (2.6km at 7%)… But nobody can resist Fisher-Black when he attacks inside the last 500 metres and takes victory 2’’ ahead of Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step). UAE Team Emirates show their collective strength with Diego Ulissi (3rd) and Adam Yates (6th) in the first positions as well ahead of a big battle on Eastern Mountain.

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