Perkins claims another stage

Mundher takes red jersey by coming second, Willcox second overall after finishing fourth

North Road Oman’s young rider Brad Perkins claimed back-to-back stage wins after romping home in the seventh stage of the Oman Cycling Association (OCA) Championship with a timing of 2 hours, 31 minutes and 13.53 seconds on Friday.
Ahli Sidab ‘A’ rider Mundher al Hasani retained the red jersey from North Road Oman’s Paul Willcox after taking second spot in 2:31:14.49 timing at the 96 km road race from Wakan to Wadi Mistal.
Hatim al Booshari of Royal Army finished third with a timing of 2:31:17.
Willcox from United Kingdom, who was leading after stage 6, slipped to second overall in Omantel red jersey standings in the open category.
Mundher is topping the table with 480 points, while Willcox is second on 462 points and Mohammed al Wahaibi of Ahli Sidab ‘A’ is third on 398 points after seven stages.
Mundher also leads under-23 section for Bank Nizwa white jersey with 325 points. Mohammed al Wahaibi is second with 315 points and Waleed al Fahdi is third with 295 points.
The eighth and final stage, a 96 km road race at PACA on March 26, will decide the winner.

Willcox’s consistent performance has assured him of winning the championship’s Sohar International green jersey for overall winner in the 40 plus category. The 44-year-old takes the jersey with the concluding stage to spare. Second-placed Ayman al Wahaibi of Ahli Sidab ‘B’ has 245 points and cannot overhaul Willcox tally of 400 points in the last race. Simeon Gelacio of North Road Oman is third with 208 points.
“It’s a great feeling to make sure you win the green jersey with one race to go. This gives me good encouragement to go for a final push in the last race to claim the red jersey as well,” the British cyclist told Oman Daily Observer. “It was a good stage (7) for my team North Road Oman as well.”
“It was a fantastic 100 km road race this time in the beautiful surroundings of Wadi Mistal, at the foot of the mountain village of Wakan. The 30 km finish climbing over 800m was brutal,” he explained.

ROYAL ARMY in front
“Szczepan Pietruszka and Greg Pollard controlled the dual carriageway section reeling in any breaks, with Daniel Baldwin and Simeon Gelacio supporting the climbing to the finish. Brad and I tried to break with 5 km to go, but finally ended up with 4 in the final 100m.”
“I didn’t quite have the legs in the final 50, and Brad surged past for another win. By finishing fourth overall, I slipped back to second in red Jersey. My closest rival Mundher finished second in the race to go top in the championship,” Willcox added.
Meanwhile, Royal Army are heading the team list with 230 points. Ahli Sidab ‘A’ are second with 218 points and Gulf Cycles are third with 157 points. North Road Oman are fourth on 146 points and Royal Army ‘B’ are fifth with 94 points.


Anuroop Athiparambath