German Andre Greipel, riding for the Lotto team, won a mass sprint finish for Tuesday’s first stage of the Tour of Oman, a 159km leg. Greipel, who will don the race leader’s red jersey, won a sprint to the line ahead of Russian Denis Galimzyanov and American Tyler Farrar.
“I was carried through perfectly by Greg Henderson and Marcel Sieberg. They gave me this success,” said Greipel, winner of three stages at the Tour Down Under in Australia last month.
The stage had been marked by the long breakaway of four riders – Mikhail Ignatiev, Alexandre Lemair, Danilo Wyss and Jiao Pangda – from the first kilometer. Russian Ignatiev was not caught until eight kilometers from the line.
Britain’s world champion Mark Cavendish, who suffered heavy bruising in a fall during last week’s Tour of Qatar, did not take part in the sprint finish up a slight climb.
Wednesday’s second stage will be over 140km from Sur to Wadi Dayqah Dam.