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by Mark Zalewski
February 17, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Dan Martin wins Volta ao Algarve stage, takes over lead; Pinot wins Ruta del Sol queen stage, Contador assumes lead; Anderson wins Tour of Oman, stage 3; Not above bottle duty: Amalie Dideriksen’s year ahead in the rainbow stripes; Dunbar poised to seize chances heading into year two with Axeon Hagens Berman team; Jens Keukeleire hit by car while training in Spain; Mitchelton-Scott signs young Australian talents; Two climbs planned for Tokyo 2020 road race circuit; Reports: Meeusen to join van der Poel on Beobank-Corendon; Klaas Vantornout remains with Marlux-Napoleon Games; Too early for Pidcock at WorldTour level; Paolini signs with pro mountain bike team; Erkki Punttila – Not Far From Home.
Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) won the sprint on stage three at the Tour of Oman, with an uphill finish that whittled down the peloton. The 22-year-old Dane won ahead of Rui Costa (Team UAE Abu Dhabi) and race leader Ben Hermans (BMC Racing).
“The team was amazing again today,” said Soren. “They delivered me to the bottom of the climb as fresh as possible. After their great work it was up to me to finish the job. I started the sprint with 250m to go and from then on rode full gas. It was an incredible feeling to cross the line in first place. It was a day of great team effort and great legs and one I will remember.”
A six-rider break formed on the stage that included Matthew Brammeier (Aqua Blue Sport), Bert Van Lerberghe (Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Gavin Mannion (UnitedHealthcare), Kazushige Kuboki (Nippo – Vini Fantini), Chun Kai Feng (Bahrain Merida) and Frantisek Sisr (CCC Sprandi Polkowice).
Kuboki took the points on the Bousher Al Amerat climb, but behind the GC teams began to move to the front to begin the chase. With 50km still to go the gap began to fall precipitously and the break was caught with less than 15km to go.
“We planned today to go for Søren and to bring him into the best possible position going into the final climb of 2.5km,” Sunweb director Marc Reef said. “We knew upfront that if we were able to put him with the first five riders into the last climb, he would have a chance of taking the victory. We made a perfect plan for it and it all went very well. The team performed brilliantly and it worked out well: Søren went with the first five riders into the last 2km without losing any energy. At the end of the climb he had the legs to finish it off in a great way by taking his first win as a pro.”