Casper Wins Tour of Oman First Stage
Jimmy Casper of Team Saur-Sojasun scores first blood as he wins the first stage at the Tour of Oman this Sunday, and earns the honor of wearing the red jersey for Stage 2 on Monday.
The French cyclist had a bunch of sprinters at his heels, including Edvald Biasson Hagen of Team Sky and Kenny De Haes of Team Omega Pharma-Lotto, as he looked to finish the 61km race, but managed to hold them off to get the victory. Boasson Hagen finished second and De Haes rounded up the podium finish.
It was not until 4 kilometers down the circuit when a small breakaway group, consisting of Wilfried Cretskens (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Joaquin Novoa Menedez (Cervélo TestTeam) and Cédric Coutouly (Saur-Sojasun), decided to start going for the lead in the peloton. They managed to stay in front until 3 laps later when another three riders, Martin Reimer (Cervélo), Peter Wrolich (Milram) and Alessandro Ballan (BMC), caught up with them.
Ballan went on to take the first intermediate sprint, while Marco Pinotti of Team HTC-Columbia grabbed the second. At this point, the rest of the riders closed in on the front pack, and the peloton rounded up the final two laps without a clear leader in the front. Of course, it was also at this moment that the trains began to set up for the respective teams.
It was a little too late for Team Sky, however, as Team Saur-Sojasun’s Jimmy Casper went by Boasson Hagen to claim the stage win and the red jersey. The French rider is now the points classification leader and the target of the other teams.