The 31 year old Kristoff came house ahead of French sprinters Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis Solutions Credits) in the 138.5km stage that was flagged off from the Al Sawadi Beach.
Alexander Kristoff exults right after crossing the finish line
Andre Greipel of Team Arkea -Samsic suffered a late puncture with much less than ten kilometres to go, and though he was in a position to return to the peloton he was unable to break into the leading-ten.
After the finish, Kristoff stated, “It was a tailwind and extremely quick. It was challenging to come from far behind since it was truly stretched out, but it was also difficult to time it since you can not go as well early with this tailwind – you require some draft.
A pack of riders in the initial stage of Tour of Oman from Al Sawadi Beach to Sohar Corniche on Saturday
“Actually, I never got off the saddle, I was seated the whole sprint. It was mostly about leg speed, actually, and I have pretty good leg speed, I trained a bit on it during the winter. When I saw I hit the front with 70m to go I was pretty confident, but you never know – someone can suddenly come from behind with speed, but I’m very happy to take the win.”
A total of 126 riders rolled out from the commence as the peloton tackled the 138.5km along the coast to towards the finish at Sohar Corniche. It wasn’t lengthy just before the attacks began with a 4-man move swiftly establishing a healthful lead of four:25 right after just 15km of racing. Sergio Rodriguez (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias), Michael Schar (CCC Team), Guerin Alexis (Delko Marseille Provence, and Emiel Planckaert (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) saw their benefit drop to two:55 right after 42km of racing, although Alexis raced house to win the initial intermediate sprint of the race. The 4 leaders battled but they held a two:45 gap with 35km to and the faintest hopes of competing for the win.
However, with so numerous powerful sprint teams at the race there was tiny opportunity of a break deciding the stage. Planckaert was the initial to buckle below the strain with 20km to go, leaving the 3 remaining leaders with just below a minute to play with. With ten kilometres to go the gap was down to just 15 seconds and additional 4km from the line the trio’s day was place to an finish.
There was late drama when Greipel punctured but there would be no denying Kristoff. Stage two on Sunday will see the riders compete from Royal Cavalry Oman to Al Bustan more than a distance of 156.5km.
Stage classification [top five]:
1 Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) 02h54m50s, two Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept – B&B Hotels), three Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits), four Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data), five Niccolo Bonifazio (Direct Energie).
Information Source: Muscat Daily