Edvald Boasson Hagen's fine form continued today at the Tour of Oman as he powered to an emphatic stage 2 victory. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) was 2nd on the day with Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing) rounding out the podium.
Just as yesterday began with an early escape going clear, so it would be the case once again during today's 2nd Tour of Oman stage. 6 riders were part of the escape, but with Etixx-Quickstep riding in defence of the leader’s jersey, they weren't allowed any more than a 3'30" lead. While 3 of the breakaway riders decided to up the ante for the final 60km by going clear, they were all caught with 20km to go, setting up the finale for the GC contenders.
The run toward the finishing 3km was a high speed battle for position, with the peloton fragmenting into smaller groups under the pressure. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka were in the driving seat at the head of the peloton, as Nathan Haas, Tyler Farrar and Youcef Reguigui forced the pace and caused the splits in the peloton. The positive intent shown by our African Team would pay dividends as Edvald Boasson Hagen was well positioned when the final 2.8km climb to the line began.
There were a few surges in pace as the road titled skyward which caused a select group to form rather quickly. Boasson Hagen was again well supported by Serge Pauwels, Merhawi Kudus, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Nathan Haas during the finale, to find himself as part of this favourites group. Nobody was able to ride away from the Norwegian Champion on the uphill gradient and his superior kick earned him a great stage victory.
Serge Pauwels crossed the line 6 seconds down in 10th place with Merhawi Kudus a further 12 seconds back in 19th. It was another strong team result for Dimension Data for Qhubeka as Boasson Hagen takes the lead in general classification and the points classification while in the team competition, our African Team still sits in 1st position.
Edvald Boasson Hagen - Rider
It was a really good stage for us today. The team did really well, especially at the end to keep me up at the front. They were on the front riding a really good tempo so nobody could attack. Tyler went into the base of the climb and then Nathan did a long turn too. Youcef and Jacques also rode really well to support me. The whole team was strong today, it was a great effort by all the guys which I was really happy with. It was great to then finish off all the good work with the win.