Sonny’s impossible comeback after yet another flat tire
Tour of Oman, February 14th, Stage 1
A huge team effort brought Sonny Colbrelli from a flat tire 8 kilometers to go, back to the peloton and then all the way to third place.
The 8th edition of Tour of Oman started with a relatively flat stage from Al Sawadi beach, going inland to Al Rustaq and Nakhal, finishing back on the coastal line at Nassem Park. As soon as the race started 5 riders escaped the peloton and worked hard all day to keep the distance of maximum 3:30 minutes, but eventually, 9 km to go they got caught. Approaching the last turn riders had head wind, but after the U turn, 6km to go they had a tail wind to help them sprint to the finish line.
Just like at first stage in Dubai, Sonny had puncture 8 km to go, and Feng managed to give him his wheel, while Agnoli and Bole waited to pull back Sonny to the peloton. They did manage to catch up with peloton 4 km to go, but it was unrealistic to expect that they can pull him all the way to the front before the finish line. They proved that it is possible, and Sonny sprinted to third place. This would be fantastic result even if everything went right, but considering the puncture this is phenomenal result for the team.
Straight after the race Valerio Agnoli wasn’t aware of Sonny’s placement: “It was crazy race, but we worked so hard, I think Sonny got top 5.”
Sports director Phillipe Mauduit said: “It was a strange day, 30 km to go our car got flat tire, so we had to change the wheel of the car, and then to put a cherry on the cake, our leader had flat tire as well, so we panicked, but that is cycling, didn’t work this time for us. At the end of the day Sonny got the third place just because our guys were focused and have a really strong team spirit. They all help each other, they stick together, and they were able to do something most of the people think it’s impossible.”
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