Simone Ponzi was the fastest “rider in orange” on stage 2 of Tour of Oman, which was won by Ben Hermans.
Info: February 15th, Nakhal – Al Bustan, 145,5km
Weather: hot, sunny
Course: hilly, punchy finish
It was another super fast stage in Oman. In the first hour of racing the leading escapees, Mark Christian (Aqua Blue Sport) and Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise) covered nearly 52 kilometers. At one point, with 70km to go, they had 8 minutes of advantage.
This is when peloton picked up the pace and started the chase. The breakaway got caught inside the final 20 kilometers. The hilly finale was extremely intense, as the bunch got drastically decimated. There were few late attack attempts, but eventually it came down to a battle of the GC favorites. Ben Hermans (BMC Racing) was the strongest in the uphill sprint, beating Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana). The Belgian also took over the leader jersey.
Simone Ponzi was CCC Sprandi Polkowice top finisher in Al Bustan, taking 26th, 33 behind the winner. He’s also 26th in the general standings (43s back).