photo credits @ Tour of Oman
Mark Cavendish won stage two of the Tour of Oman to take the overall lead from Fernando Gaviria and claim his first victory of 2022.
The British rider edged-out Australia’s Kaden Groves at the end of the 167.5 kilometer stage from Naseem Park to Suhar Corniche.
It is the 36-year-old’s first victory of 2022 and 157th of his career.
“I was looking forward to this sprint, as it was similar to a Tour de France one, with a long finishing straight of over one kilometre,” Cavendish said.
“Everyone on the team was committed and did a great job.”
Cavendish opened his 2022 season with a second-placed finish behind Columbia’s Gaviria in the opening stage from Rustaq Fort to Muscat on Thursday.
“Coming into the stage I had a lot of confidence,” he added.
“When the sprint started, I was a bit far back, but I had a good speed and I’m happy with the way things panned out.”
Meanwhile, Belgium’s Amaury Capiot beat Gaviria to claim the final spot o the podium, with Cavendish moving into the overall lead before Saturday’s finish in Qurayyat.
Antonio Angulo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Stephen Clancy (Novo Nordisk) formed the early break for the sprinter teams to chase, after local rider Mohammed Al-Wahibi failed to get across to them.
The two fought for the intermediate sprints and opened a four-minute lead but Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl and BikeExchange-Jayco kept them within reach. Team DSM also helped with the chase to try to set-up Søren Kragh Andersen and the attack was eventually caught with 30 kilometers to go.
Gabriel Muller (Burgos-BH) tried a solo attack, quickly opening up a 40-second gap before he was also brought to heel. The sprinters’ team then took control, with QuickStep-AlphaVinyl giving Cavendish the lead out he needed in the final kilometers so he could dominate the sprint and open his 2022 account.
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