INTERMARCHÉ
WANTY GOBERT

Tour of Oman

Neo-pro Hugo Page sprints to 8th place


The Tour of Oman (2.Pro) made its return on the racing calendar this Thursday after two years of absence, with the first of the six stages in the Middle Eastern sultanate. Under the direction of Valerio Piva, the six riders of the Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux departed at the foot of Fort Al-Rustaq, with 25 degrees on the thermometer, for an opening stage of 138 kilometers towards the capital Muscat, where a bunch sprint was expected.

The peloton had no trouble controlling the three breakaways, whose lead fell under a minute after the ascent of Fanja (1 km at 9%), the only listed difficulty of the course located more than 40 kilometers from the finish. The peloton then prepared for the bunch sprint, on wide roads exposed to the wind.

In the final kilometers, a strong job from Julius Johansen allowed both Hugo Page and Tom Devriendt to enter the last kilometer in the first positions. Eventually, the French neo-pro was forced to improvise in the sprint because the two men were locked up 400 meters from the finish. He took 8th place, while the leaders for the GC Jan Hirt and Rein Taaramäe crossed the line in the same time as the winner Gaviria (UAE).

I am happy to be part of this great team and to participate in the Tour of Oman here with a strong group. We remained together the whole stage and protected our sprinter Tom Devriendt well in the last 10 kilometers. Julius Johansen made a fantastic effort to get Tom and myself off the front going into the last kilometer. I waited for the right moment to launch Tom, but we got boxed in with 400 meters to go after a couple of riders passed by us on the right. It's a shame I had to brake, but I especially remember that we worked well with the group and I feel we can seize some good opportunities in the coming days.

General Classification

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