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by Matt de Neef
February 19, 2018
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Alexey Lutsenko wins the Tour of Oman; Tim Wellens secures the overall at Ruta del Sol; Michal Kwiatkowski takes out the Volta ao Algarve; Jonathan Hivert wins both stages and overall at Haut Var Matin; Mathieu van der Poel and Sanne Cant take Superprestige wins in Middelkerke; Riders critical of Froome’s appearance at the Ruta del Sol.
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) has taken out the 2018 Tour of Oman after six days of strong, consistent racing. The 25-year-old Kazakh had been second overall leading into the weekend, before finishing second on the race’s queen stage to Green Mountain.
Lutsenko was second across the line at the top of the steep 5.7km climb, just behind teammate Miguel Angel Lopez. That result put Lutsenko into the overall lead with one stage remaining.
That final stage was decided in a bunch sprint in Muscat with European champion Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) ousting stage 1 winner Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo). Lutsenko finished comfortably in the peloton to take out the race overall.
“It is so nice to win in your first race of the season,” Lutsenko said. “I did a lot of work this winter — it was my goal to be on form for the start of the season and, finally, I am here at the podium as the winner. It was not a plan to try to win in Oman, but I felt really good the whole week here and also the team was absolutely fantastic.
“So, now I am coming back to Europe and already next weekend I will open my classics season in Belgium. Despite this overall victory, the classics are my biggest goal for the first half of the season, so I am really motivated to do it well.”