The Tour of Oman reached its conclusion today after the 6th and final stage. The final 133.5km challenge saw the early escape of the day decide the stage with Matthias Brändle out-sprinting his breakaway companions. Iljo Keisse (Etixx Quickstep) was 2nd and Jef Van Meirhaeghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) 3rd. The peloton came home just over a minute later in the sprint for 5th.
Safely in the main peloton were Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Louis Meintjes for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung. This would mean that Jacques would hold on to his 5th place overall on the general classification and Louis Meintjes would secure 6th place as well as the white young rider jersey.
After winning the races queen stage up Green Mountain, Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida) won the race overall with Tejay van Gaarderen (BMC Racing) 2nd and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 3rd. With just 1'06" separating Louis from the top step, it shows how incredibly well both he and Jacques performed this week to be right up there in top quality field.
It was a great team effort that allowed Jacques and Louis to secure our first 2 top 10 GC placings and our first jersey of the year. The lead up to the start of the Green Mountain was vital and the whole Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung squad rallied around the two South African's to provide them with the best position possible, better than most World Tour teams to be fair. All the riders will take much confidence from this performance as they look to their next objectives now.
Louis Meintjes - Rider
I am really happy to win the white jersey. I think it's a good start to the season. The team was really awesome and we worked well together this week. Winning the white jersey has been a really good start, I just hope the momentum can continue now into the rest of the season.
Jens Zemke - Head of Performance
To be 5th and 6th on GC is a fantastic result for our team. I am really, really proud of the boys. To be part of the awards ceremony at such a prestigious race, winning the best young rider is fantastic. If you look at our results for the season so far and then you think it is only February, wow, it has been a great start to the year for us.