Davide Rebellin has kicked off Tour of Oman with 8th place on the opening stage. Italian arrived in the main, 18-man group, from which Bob Jungels attacked in the finale and took the win.
First day of racing has already created some significant time gaps in the general classification. Two categorized climbs made racing exciting right from the get go and were responsible for breaking the field apart.
The breakaway of the day was formed early on and it included Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Argon 18), Berden De Vries (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Kenny Dehaes (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Pieter Van Speybrouck (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Peter Koning (Drapac Professional Cycling). They quickly built up a maximum gap of 6 minutes, but the peloton didn’t wait with chasing too long either and brought the lead down to under 3 minutes, with 50 kilometers remaining.
The escape was over on the first categorized climb Al Hamriyah. The second one, located just inside the final 5 kilometers, saw many riders getting dropped. An 18-man group emerged in the front, with Davide Rebellin. Also Bob Jungels was there and pulled away in the very finale. He was able to hold on to his lead and secure a win. He bested Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), while Italian from CCC Sprandi Polkowice came in in 8th place (8 seconds back). Simone Ponzi was the second “rider in orange” who finished in the top 30, as he took 29th (0:40 back).
The last 25 kilometers were extremely fast. I tried to attack on the second climb with Domenico Pozzovivo, but we got caught by a 15-man group. The final 5 kilometers were very lively and many riders wanted to pull away. I was unable to follow Jungels and had to settle for the sprint from a small group. I felt strong on the climbs and I’m hoping to improve my result on tomorrow’s stage with an uphill finish – Rebellin said afterwards.