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“We were in the front with almost the whole team going into the final kilometres but in the last kilometre some other riders boxed us in. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get out and sprint properly," Markus says

Photo: Belkin Pro Cycling Team

BARRY MARKUS

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TOUR OF OMAN

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18.02.2014 @ 17:56 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Barry Markus (Belkin) was unable to finish off strong teamwork from his Belkin team in today's first stage of the Tour of Oman and had to settle for 7th in the bunch sprint. With the team controlling the finale few kilometres, however, there is plenty of confidence in the Belkin camp.

 

The Belkin Pro Cycling Team began the Tour of Oman today with a seventh place from Barry Markus. The young Dutchman started his sprint as planned but saw André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) pass in the final metres for the win. 

“We were in the front with almost the whole team going into the final kilometres but in the last kilometre some other riders boxed us in,” said Markus. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get out and sprint properly.” 

 

Four riders attacked early in the stage between As Suwayq Castle and Naseem Garden. They took several minutes but the bunch kept control. 

In the final 30 kilometres, the situation became tricky. After the group reeled in the leaders, it split into three groups in the cross-winds. Sports Director Jan Boven sat comfortably in his chase car as his riders fought for position. 

“We were well represented in the first group,” said Boven. “In the last 10 kilometres it all came back together, but we remained at the front. Around 2.5 kilometres from the finish, we took the lead and avoided dangerous situations on two roundabouts. Unfortunately, the wind came from behind on the final straight and some other riders passed us.” 

Belkin’s teamwork pleased Boven. It gives him confidence for the rest of the week.

 

“If we keep going like this, Barry will surely benefit from it one day.” 

Markus could do so tomorrow.

 

“It will be a stage similar to today’s,” explained Boven. “If nothing crazy happens, a breakaway will go and the bunch will catch them for the sprint.” 

 

You can read our preview of the race here.

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