Visconti and Grmay in top 6 on Tour of Oman’s Queen Stage
Tour of Oman, February 18th, Stage 5
The Queen Stage of 8th edition of Tour of Oman was everything we expected to be. It started early just after start in Sama’il that peloton splited due to cross winds. UHC leader was caught in second group so the whole team came to pick him up and dragged the whole echelon back to the peloton. In the meantime a group of 5 riders broke away, and held maximum 8 minute advantage. 80km to go a stream overflowed the road and many riders fell, most of our riders as well. They manage to brush themselves and with few new bikes they continued the race. That didn’t have any effect on peloton. At the bottom of the dreadful climb to Green Mountain, the break was only 1:20 minutes, and peloton started to shed. There was a group of 12-15 riders that held together for a long time, including our Grmay and Visconti. But the climb was 5.7km long with 10.5 average gradient, so few strongest guys made a run to finish line and Ben Hermans won another stage, with Fabio Aru and Rui Costa rounding up the podium spots. Giovanni Visconti finished 4th while Tsgabu Grmay finished 6th.
Again great team effort getting our main GC riders to the position to fight for top spots.
Our sports director Philippe Mauduit was satisfied: “What a race. It was a very fast start, peloton broke in two pieces, all was reset eventually, then BMC took over to work to protect their leader. Then we had some water on the road, our boys were on the first line, one guy crashed and it was domino effect. Then it was panic, with a lot of broken bikes, so we had to work hard, replace bikes, fix them and return original bikes to riders. Everything was in order after that, so we prepared for the final, because of a great work of teammates, Giovanni Visconti and Tsgabu Grmay were in great position. They were fighting all the way to the finish and they came 4th and 6th. It’s a great result, team effort, of course we would like to win, but we have to be positive about this”.
4th placed Visconti wasn’t hiding his satisfaction: “I’m very happy with my and team effort. This result will get Grmay and me in GC top 10. I can go home with high moral after today’s performance. It was difficult because 4 of us crashed, but at the end we achieved a good result and we can all be happy”.
With this great result Grmay moved to 5th spot on GC, while Visconti is now 9th.
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