Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) won stage 2 of the Tour of Oman, letting out a long scream in celebration after making sure he was part of the series of attacks on the hilly finale of the 167km stage to Al Bustan.
The Australian had not won a race since the 2016 Vuelta a Burgos but rode the finale perfectly and then dominated the sprint, giving Katusha-Alpecin its first win of 2018. He responded to an aggressive Astana team on the final Al Bustan climb before winning the sprint ahead of the Belgian. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) finished third.
Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) led home the peloton, 38 seconds back on the select group of 16 riders that emerged in the rollercoaster finale.
Thanks to the time bonuses, Haas is the new leader of the Tour of Oman and pulled on the red leader’s jersey. He leads Van Avermaet by four seconds, with Lutsenko third at six seconds. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) is fifth at 10 seconds after finishing in the front group with Haas.
“I just wanted to give myself a nice Valentine’s present today,” Haas said of his loud victory celebrations.
“I’ve been trying to win a bike race, a real bike race for a while, so for me to finish it off, means a huge reaction. I’ve been saying to everyone that they’ll know it when I won because they’ll hear it.
A hard finale
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