Haas seizes race lead after victory on stage 2 of Tour of Oman; Groenewegen wins stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve; Boudat denies Modolo on stage 1 of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol; Gilbert and Valverde comment on Froome’s return; Majka rejects accusations of doping; Silca debuts bigger seat roll and latex tubes; Cane Creek’s eeBrake in El Diablo limited edition colour way; Video: Froome – ‘these are not normal circumstances’; Video: Cycling Motivation – Peter Sagan shows MTB skills
Haas wins in Oman, Groenewegen in Algarve; Silca’s latex tubes: Daily News Digest
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Nathan Haas made up for his disappointment at not being more prominent in the Santos Tour Down Under on Wednesday when he sprinted to victory on stage two of the Tour of Oman. The Australian Katusha-Alpecin rider was best out of a select group of riders, beating Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step Floors) and 11 others to the line.
The next group came in 38 seconds back, greatly reducing the list of overall contenders. Stage one winner Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept Cycling Club) was at a distant three minutes 46 seconds.
“Today my team Katusha-Alpecin was just amazing,” Haas said. “It was the first time in a long time that I just had to sit and not to think. They guided me to where I got to do my thing. Last year I was already fifth in this stage when we finished at the top. Today there was a different kind of speed. I decided to lock onto the wheels and just forget about the next part, which was the sprint. So there were two finish lines: the top and then down the hill.
The 167.5 kilometre stage began at the Sultan Qaboos University and concluded at Al Bustan. Five kilometres after the drop of the flag Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Danny Pate (Rally Cycling) clipped away. They quickly build a four minute lead, but that was the most time they had. Irizar was the last caught, being hauled back on the climb of Al Jissah, with only 5 km to go.
— Tour of Oman (@tourofoman) February 14, 2018
“I think I am climbing a bit better than I was last year,” said Haas. “I am a little bit lighter and my bike is awesome,” said Has. “I’m gonna fight till the end, whether or not I can hold the red jersey or maybe even get on the podium. This is cycling. You can do pretty special things when you are in front.”
Today’s feature photo is from stage two of the Tour of Oman and was taken by Vincent Kalut for the Cor Vos agency.