Velits claims Oman title
Kittel grabs final stage
Last Updated: 19/02/12 11:38am
Peter Velits: Clocked up yet another win for his Omega Pharma-Quickstep squad
Peter Velits held off a late charge from rival Vincenzo Nibali to claim overall victory at the Tour of Oman.
The Slovakian (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) maintained his one-second lead following Saturday’s summit finish on Green Mountain to secure the red jersey, despite a challenge from Nibali at the day’s first intermediate sprint.
Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) could only manage fourth during the contest, thus missing out on valuable seconds which would have handed him the red jersey.
At the finish along the Matrah Corniche Marcel Kittel once again confirmed his credentials as the hottest young sprinter in the peloton as he took his second victory of the race.
The second-year pro (Project 1t4i) held off Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) on the line in what has become the race’s traditional finishing stage.
A more straightforward affair during the previous two editions of the race, the 130.5km final stage began with the race victory still very much in the balance.
With just a single second separating the top two contenders there was always likely to be action in the build-up to an inevitable bunch sprint.
Velits was able to call on his Omega Pharma-Quickstep squad to help protect his lead at the day’s first bonus sprint in Muscat after an early break had been closed down.
A break of three riders was then allowed to move clear as the race headed into the finish for six laps of a seven-kilometre circuit along the Corniche.
With the escapees putting up a brave battle they were finally swept up shortly into the final lap as the sprint trains formed and Kittel once again made a statement.