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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, February 16, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2021 Giro d'Italia

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Tour of Oman stage six reports

We posted the organizer’s report with the results.

Here's the report from GC winner Jan Hirt's Team Intermarché-Wanty Gobert:

Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux had the mission to defend the leader’s jersey of Jan Hirt in the sixth and final stage of the Tour d’Oman (2.Pro, 10-15/02) this Wednesday.

2022 Tour of Oman final GC podium, from left: Fausto Masnada (2nd), Jan Hirt (1st) & Rui Costa (3rd).

One day after the collective demonstration in the queen stage during which the Czech rider conquered the red kit, the line up directed by Valerio Piva again brilliantly accomplished its mission in a stage suited for sprinters.

The five teammates of the red jersey first controlled the advantage of the early breakaway of seven riders and kept it within two minutes, before the contenders in the general classification tried to make use of the two categorized climbs in the second race half.

The World Team stayed united around it’s leader and followed the multiple accelerations in the climbs of Al Hamriyah (0.8km at 9.9%) and Al Jissah (1km at 9.2%) where the early breakaway was caught.

A compact peloton started the three local laps around Matrah Corniche and the stage victory was decided in a bunch sprint. Just like in the opening stage, neo pro Hugo Page was in the mix and took fifth place.

By crossing the line in the same time as the stage winner, Hirt took the victory in the general classification and offered Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux a fourth success in 2022. His teammate Rein Taaramäe accompanies him in the top ten with an eighth place in the final classification.

"Yesterday, it was a fantastic feeling to throw my hands in the air for the first time in six years. The GC win is a great bonus. I'm grateful for the help of my teammates. We raced together all week and never panicked when our competitors tried to surprise us with attacks today. I'm in the best shape of my life and found a renewed love for cycling within Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux. I needed some time to adapt to my new environment after the difficult Covid-period before achieving a good level mentally and physically at the end of last season. I worked well with my coach Ioannis Tamouridis and the nutrition team this winter and both confirmed that I was ready to start the season with confidence. I hope to benefit from this good form for a long time, I'm already looking forward to the UAE Tour!" - Jan Hirt

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Here’s the report from stage 6 winner Fernando Gaviria’s UAE Team Emirates:

Fernando Gaviria and UAE Team Emirates finished off a great week in style by claiming the win on the final Stage 6 of the Tour of Oman from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Corniche (132.5km).

Fernando Gaviria wins Tour of Oman stage six.

After a well drilled lead-out from Max Richeze in the finishing straight, Gaviria jumped to come around Kaden Groves (BikeExchange) and lift his arms to claim his second stage win of the week.

Rui Costa finished safely in the bunch to cement his 3rd place podium, to add to his other 3rd place picked up at the Saudi Tour last week. Jan Hirt (Intermarche-Wanty) took the overall win.

Gaviria: “ I’m really happy to take the last stage here in Oman. It’s been a good week for me and the team. I’m happy because my team worked well and stayed focussed on winning the stage and we were able to deliver. From the beginning we tried to take control of the race and luckily I had good legs in the finish and could take the sprint. It was a nice week: one of the beauties of this sport is to travel and discover new countries and cultures. So to ride in amazing places like Oman is great and we’ll hope to be back next year.”


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Simon Yates & Matteo Sobrero to ride Andalucia-Ruta Ciclistica del Sol

Team BikeExchange-Jayco sent me this:

Giro d’Italia podium finisher Simon Yates is ready to make his season debut for Team BikeExchange-Jayco at the five-day Andalucia Ruta Ciclistica del Sol starting tomorrow.

It will be the British rider's second appearance in the Spanish race, following on from his stage four victory at the 2019 edition of the event. Yates will be supported by climbers Nick Schultz and Tsgabu Grmay, while Luke Durbridge and Dion Smith will provide the team with added power and options for the stages that offer alternative opportunities. 

Simon Yates winning stage four of the 2019 Ruta del Sol.

Completing the six-rider squad, and making his first official appearance with the Australian team, will be reigning Italian time trial champion Matteo Sobrero. For the Italian, it will be a good opportunity to support Yates on the climbing stages, and to adapt to his new team in the testing parcours of the Vuelta a Andalucia.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Luke Durbridge (AUS)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Matteo Sobrero (ITA)
Simon Yates (GBR)

Simon Yates:
“We’re finally back racing after the long winter preparation! There are many new changes with the team; a new bike, new team members and lots of enthusiasm after the first good performances by Dylan in Saudi Arabia, and Kevin and Kaden in Oman. We’ll try to keep the momentum going here in Europe too.

“I’m really happy to be back at the Vuelta a Andalucia after racing it in 2019. I have good memories of this race and we’ll try to make the best of our preparations for the new season. Of course, we’ll be looking at the GC classification, but also on the various stages it will be a good test to see where we are before moving forward to bigger goals in the year.”

Matthew White (Head Sport Director):
“The Vuelta a Andalucia is a really important race for us. We have some pretty key riders who start their journey towards the Giro d’Italia here, and for us it’s important to get into good habits, and that’s being competitive all week. The course presents three stages – one, two and five – which will see the best climbers come to the fore. It will be a good load of work for us.

“We will try our best to win a stage, and if we do that we believe we can find ourselves in a good place in the general classification. The most important thing is to come away from the week better than we started. For nearly everyone here it’s their first competition of the year, and we will have bigger fish to fry coming up.”


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Team Movistar will race Vuelta a Andalucia-Ruta del Sol

Here’s the team’s post:

Back to its February dates, the Movistar Team will defend its 2021 title in the Vuelta a Andalucía with very good reasons to be optimistic. The 68th edition of the Ruta del Sol, which otherwise contains no big mountain stages, is still a very demanding race where only some of the strongest will be able to aim for the title.

2021 Ruta del Sol winner Miguel Lopez winning stage three of that race.

The uphill finish (last kilometer at 6%) in Iznájar (Wednesday 16th), which Gonzalo Serrano conquered so brilliantly in 2020, will open a race which will tackle another finishing ascent, a cobbled one, on day two in Alcalá la Real (Thursday 17th).

Following those two tough slopes, there will be two chances for the sprinters, Friday 18th in Otura -again a slight uphill- and Saturday 19th in Baza, after climbing the Purche (Cat-1) early on. The race will be decided on Sunday 20th with the only mountain-top finish in Chiclana de Segura (7.1km, 5.2%), following three other categorized climbs.

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