Greipel continues fine form in Oman
Tue, 14 Feb 12:26:00 2012
Lotto-Belisol rider Andre Greipel claimed victory in stage one of the Tour of Oman, finishing ahead of Denis Galimzyanov and Tyler Farrar while Mark Cavendish was forced off the road with a kilometre remaining.
After notching three wins at the Tour Down Under, Greipel continued his strong start to the season with the opening lead in Wadi Al Hoqay.
Behind the German was Russia's Galimzyanov of Katusha, while American Farrar, representing Garmin-Barracuda, rounded off the podium.
Greipel's fellow countryman Marcel Kittel finished in fourth place on behalf of Project 1t4i, while fifth position was claimed by Slovakian Peter Sagan of team Liquigas-Cannondale.
The race featured many of the riders who contested last week's Tour of Qatar, though Great Britain's Mark Cavendish did not contest the bunch gallop after he was forced off the road and into the dirt by Galimzyanov's Katusha team-mate Alexander Kristoff of Norway.
The world champion tweeted after the event: ”Yep, not the best of days today. Ran off the road by Alexander Kristoff with 1200m to go. Well done to @AndreGreipel”
Tour of Oman - stage 1
Runner-up Galimzyanov said: "I'm satisfied with my performance.
“Obviously I'd rather win but I did my best. I stayed at Farrar's wheel and started my sprint with 80 metres, I was able to pass him but I couldn't do much more to defeat Greipel.
“He was the fastest today, so he deserved to win: but I can be satisfied because the last kilometre was not easy, it was a little uphill with a not so strong headwind, so not the best condition for a pure sprinter.
“Again I have to thank my teammates: in the end Selig, Isaychev and Kristoff did a great job, imposing our pace and taking me to the best possible position in order to fight for win.
“I'm glad with my shape too: I'm not 100%, but I'm working well to improve day by day."
The 159km stage made its way along the seafront from the Al Alam Royal Palace in the city of Muscat to Wadi Al Hoqay to the west of the city. Greipel has laid down an early marker to the rest of the world class field that includes the top four from last year's road world championships.Liam Happe - on Twitter @liamhappe / Eurosport