Vansevenant on the podium in Oman
Mauri Vansevenant battled the scorching heat and the leg-sapping gradients of Jabal Hatt en route to an impressive second place on the toughest stage of the Tour of Oman so far, which changed the red jersey wearer and widened the gaps between the general classification contenders.
A finish used for the first time at the race, Jabal Hatt averaged 7.7% over 4.6 kilometers, but the steepest part came in the last kilometer. The climb was so gruelling that until the closing 500 meters there was no need for any attacks to reduce the field, the biting gradient taking care of this. Only a handful of riders were left in the mix by the time the gradient eased, and Mauri was again there for Soudal Quick-Step, just as he had been in Qurayyat, twenty-four hours before.
A sustained, lung-bursting effort on Monday’s windy finale helped Vansevenant come through in second place, behind Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), and move onto the overall podium of the Tour of Oman, just six seconds behind the new leader.
“I’m both happy and disappointed with today’s result. It’s never nice when you finish runner-up, but at the same time I am satisfied with my form on this difficult climb, which we rode full gas from the early slopes. I gave everything in the end and this is wht I could do. I will continue fighting and hopefully I will get a strong overall result on Wednesday”, Mauri explained after his first podium of the season.
Photo credit: ©A.S.O. /Oman Cycling Association/ Pauline Ballet