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Tour of Oman. Stage 1. Magnus Cort is 9th, Lopez, Lutsenko, Kangert, Hirt, Stalnov and Fraile start season

The Tour of Oman has been started today with stage 1 from Nizwa to Sultan Qaboos University near Muscat with a total distance of 162,5 km. Magnus Cort finished 9th in today stage, while for all other riders of Astana Team it was the first race of the season.

- The final was quite chaotic. The team was good and until the last right corner everything went ok, while later we lost each other. I still tried to do a good sprint, but I started from the behind and all I could do it was a Top-10 place. Anyway, after Dubai Tour I feel good and I am looking forward to the next stages, - explained Magnus Cort.

It was a classic flat stage with an expected bunch sprint. With a right corner at 1 km to go and a cross wind, the final sprint was not easy. Finally, it was French rider Bryan Coquard, who won the sprint ahead of Mark Cavendish and Giacomo Nizzolo. Magnus Cort was 9th, while other Astana leaders (Miguel Angel Lopez, Alexey Lutsenko and Tanel Kangert) finished safely in the main group.

For the leader of Astana Pro Team Miguel Angel Lopez today stage was his first race of the season (excepting the Colombian National Championships).

- I am happy to start my season with Astana Team. The stage went well, and, in general, my feelings were ok. It was a warm day here in Oman, but, we spent it without stress, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.

This was the first race and for Kazakh leader of Astana Team Alexey Lutsenko, who is preparing for the Classics season.

- Yeah, it was my first racing day. Before, I’ve spent two nice weeks at the training camp on the altitude together with Jan Hirt and our trainer Aritz Arberas. We did a good job for the start of the season and it is nice to begin it in Oman. Some important stages are waiting for us in the next days, so, let’s see, how it will be, - added Alexey Lutsenko.

Tanel Kangert comes back on racing after big break and long period of recovery after his injury.

- After almost nine months, finally, I am here, in the middle of the peloton together with my team. Nice feelings and I can say I am happy to be here. The stage went calmly, and it was a good way to start the race, - resumed Tanel Kangert.

Stage 2 of the Tour of Oman will be held tomorrow: 167,5 km from Sultan Qaboos University to Al Bustan with a short but steep climb Al Jissan with only 4,5 km to go.

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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