Gesink closes on Oman victory

Sat, 19 Feb 17:55:00 2011

Rabobank's Robert Gesink stormed to victory in the time trial at the Tour of Oman to all but guarantee that he will finish up on top of the general classification.

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The Dutchman extended his lead to over a minute after powering round the hilly 18.5km course at Al Jissah in 29 minutes 20 seconds. Sunday's final stage is a relatively flat course, with Gesink needing only to keep up to lift the trophy.

Italy's Giovanni Visconti of Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli was second on the time trial, 16 seconds behind Gesink, with HTC-Highroad's Marco Pinotti third a further eight seconds back.

"I'm really surprised to win this stage. It's the first time trial I've ever won in my professional career. I won the Dutch time trial as a kid but that's completely different," Gesink said.

"I'm not known as one of the best time trialists in the worlds but the parcours was unusually tough, and the rolling roads really suit my riding style," he said, referring to a course so tough that the competitors were forced to use their regular road bikes and tyres.

"I think I can really make myself suffer on a normal road bike and that's what you have to do in a time trial like this."

Stage five (time trial) results

1. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 29:21

2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli + 0:00:16

3. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Highroad + 0:00:24

4. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek + 0:00:27

5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling + 0:00:29

6. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre - ISD + 0:00:36

7. Michael Albasini (Swi) HTC-Highroad + 0:00:37

8. Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team + 0:00:43

9. Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJ + 0:00:59

10. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo + 0:01:01


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