MUSCAT: The duo of Soudal Quick-Step team comprised from Paul Magnier and Luke Lamperti excelled a promising finish in the third stage of 13th edition of Tour of Oman on Monday. The French rider Paul Magnier claimed the title of the stage, which began from Al Naseem Garden in Barka and finished in Al Bustan within a timing of one hour, 47 minutes and 54 seconds while US’s Luke Lamperti ended as runners up from the same team with minor difference in timing. Another French rider Bryan Coquard from COFIDIS team concluded the 76 km distance in third place.
The organising committee of Tour of Oman in coordination with the relevant government entities, decided on Sunday night to modify stage 3 which was proposed from Bidbid to Eastern Mountain to another shorter and safer stage from Naseem Garden to Al Bustan for a distance of 76 kilometres due to the current weather conditions in the Sultanate of Oman and to ensure the safety of the riders during the race.
Luke Lamperti took overall leader as he claimed the red jersey while he topped the general point ranking classification to receive the green jersey by 24 points. He took the white jersey as he was the best young rider classification. Oscar Pelegri Ferrnandis from Burgos-BH team of Spain remained in the golden jersey for the third time in a row.
Paul Magnier, the young French sprinter (19 years old) made the most of his explosive abilities to claim his second professional win already.
“This is my second triumph this season after my opening win in Mallorca end of January. I am living great moments after this victory and it is definitely good feedback for me and for the team,” the French champion said.
“I am happy to be part of this strong team as we are very specialised in how to manage the sprint. This was very clear in today’s race as we did very well and two members of the team led the race’s tally,” he added
“Thanks to the organisation team as it was a good idea to change to the route and made it shorter to ensure the safety of the riders,” he concluded.
Magnier and Lamperti were team-mates last year in the UCI Continental Team Trinity Racing. Their association immediately makes wonders among the professionals!
The Spanish rider Oscar Pelegri Ferrnandis from Burgos-BH team expressed his joy to remain the champion of the golden jersey. “ It was a good day and I was lucky as the route was changed and the organisers made it shorter. I am looking to take this jersey to home and I am looking for more victories in the remaining stages. It was quite easy route today but I am looking for tomorrow’s race as it is going to be little bit tough,” he ended.
On the day after Qurayat’s storm, David Delgado (Burgos-BH), the Omani national champion Mohammed al Wahibi and Ariya Phounsavath (Roojai Insurance) set off at km 4. They joined at the front by Anton Palzer (Bora-Hansgrohe). UAE Team Emirates set the pace in the bunch early in the stage. The gap reaches 1 minute after 20 km of racing but it never gets higher than 1’10’’ with 50km to go. Soudal Quick-Step join UAE Team Emirates at the front of the bunch.
Young power duo rises.
As the riders enter the second half of the stage, a few drops pour on the riders but the conditions remain favourable. Palzer wants to make the most of the situation with an attack 27km away from the finish. His lead to the bunch is down to 20’’ with 20km to go. He is caught 15km away from the line. Munder al Hsani (Oman National Team) tried to upset the peloton with a daring attack inside the last 8km. He opened a gap of 18’’ but was caught 4km to go.
Several teams tried to position their sprinters. But when the road rose ahead of them with 500m to go, there was no containing Paul Magnier and Luke Lamperti (Soudal Quick-Step), punching their way to the stage win (Magnier) and the red jersey (Lamperti), while Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) finished 3rd.
Following the completion of the race, the podium ceremony took place in indoor hall of the Hormuz Grand Hotel due to the outside heavy rains in Muscat. Saif bin Sebaa al Rushaidi, Chairman of Oman Cycling Association, the chief guest handed over the awards to the top winners in presence of team’s representatives and media people.
The fourth stage of the tour is slightly changed to began from Fanja instead of Al Rustaq Fort and will conclude in the same proposed place in Yitti hills for a distance of 104 km instead of 207.5 km.