The 23-year-old is our best-placed rider now, in fourth overall.
The second stage of the Tour of Oman brought the first uphill finish of this edition. Averaging 7% over 2.6 kilometers, the Qurayyat climb promised a major reshuffling of the general classification, which at the start of the day was being led by Soudal Quick-Step’s Tim Merlier.
The peloton had one job to do, and that was to make sure the breakaway would be reeled in by the time they hit the slopes of the crucial ascent. Having established a three-minute maximum gap over the field, the seven-man front group that animated the 174km stage was no threat for the bunch, who pegged them back with seven kilometers to go, before gradually ramping up the speed in the run-in to Qurayyat.
Well-positioned at all times, Mauri Vansevenant remained attentive as more and more riders made their presence felt at the front of the peloton and kept his powder dry until the last 300 meters, the hardest of the stage. The young Belgian got out of the saddle and accelerated from a select group, eventually taking fifth behind Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), who became the new leader of the race. The result elevated Mauri to fourth place in the general classification, just four seconds off the podium, ahead of Monday’s stage, which will put on the table the uphill finish of Jabal Haat.
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