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“Many strong riders tried to go up the road. On the long climb of the day Cannondale made it super hard to try and drop the sprinters. It was a hard moment for everyone.  But everything came back together again," Rast says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing

GREGORY RAST

RIDER PROFILE
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NEWS

TOUR OF OMAN

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
24.02.2014 @ 11:29 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With bad luck for Frank Schleck who punctured just before the climb in Saturday's queen stage and no sprinter in the race, Trek Factory Racing had to ride aggressively in the final stage of the Tour of Oman to come away with something from the Middle Eastern race. Despite launching Fabian Cancellara up the road, it all came down to a bunch sprint, forcing the American team to leave the race empty-handed.

 

The race began in a flurry of attacks as various riders tried to escape in the rolling hills that began stage six; first with five riders escaping, which swelled to 10 shortly before the tough Bousher Alamrat climb at the 70 kilometer point of the 146.5-kilometer stage.

 

Trek Factory Racing Racing’s director Dirk Demol explained the chaotic start to the final day of racing in Oman:

 

“It was a really, really fast start. This happens often when it’s up and down - we had rollers at the beginning and it was also a bit twisty and tricky.  When the break is not going immediately then it can take awhile. 

 

“Finally five really strong guys of big teams went away. Then had a minute and a half and Orica GreenEdge decided to bring it back. 

 

“Then there was another attack of 10 riders that went. On the steep climb the peloton split into four or five groups and Fabian [Cancellara] and Roman Kreuziger bridged up to the 10 and that was too much for the peloton, and they brought everything back again.

 

“The first group was now around 50-60 riders, and when this break was caught they slowed down allowing the second group to come back and this is when three riders went.  It was around 60kms to go when these three were gone. So it was a big fight until this - it was aggressive. A nice race.”

 

The three riders finally granted leave from the peloton were easily controlled by the Lotto Belisol team intent on grabbing its third win at the six-day tour.  Despite this aggresive fist half, in the end a bunch sprint unfolded, and André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) did not disappoint, winning the fast tailwind sprint after three fast finishing laps around Mutrah Corniche.  Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) and Sam Bennett (Netap-Endura) rounded out the top three for the stage.

 

The overall classification remained unchanged and Chris Froome (Team Sky) won the Tour of Oman for his second consecutive year.

 

“It was a hard start to the race - a lot of tactics today from a lot of teams,” said Gregory Rast. “Many strong riders tried to go up the road. On the long climb of the day Cannondale made it super hard to try and drop the sprinters. It was a hard moment for everyone.  But everything came back together again.

 

“Overall I feel the form is coming. I have 12 race days in the legs, and all hard racing, and with nice weather, so for me it was perfect.”

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