Bryan Coquard wins stage one of Tour of Oman

Coquard wins stage 1 in Oman; Froome hearing may be imminent: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

February 14, 2018

Coquard wins stage 1 of the Tour of Oman; Report: Froome anti-doping hearing may take place in the coming days; Scarponi investigation closed after driver involved in collision dies; Opinion: Time for Chris Froome and Sky to rebuild the people’s trust; Mountainous Rás Tailteann route unveiled; CyclingTips Podcast: The world’s slowest wheel change and a bit of world politics; Audio: Rás legend Gaybo Howard remembered in entertaining interview; Video: UAE Team Emirates – Wind tunnel test; Video: Inertia ft. Brandon Semenuk;

Bryan Coquard wins stage one of Tour of Oman

Coquard wins stage 1 of the Tour of Oman

by VeloClub

French sprinter Bryan Coquard converted recent podium finishes in races into his first win of the season, speeding to victory on stage one of the Tour of Oman. Following strong work by his Vital Concept Club team, he was first to the line at Sultan Qaboos University. He beat recent Dubai Tour stage winner Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) plus the rest of the main bunch.

The victory was his first since stage one of the Baloise Belgium Tour last May, and puts him back on the right track after not being selected for the Tour de France by his previous Direct Energie squad. “What a pleasure to finally reward everyone,” he said. “I have been around since the beginning of the season. The guys were doing great work in several races and put me in an ideal position but a victory was missing. It was important for me to shine in Oman because this is the first race where ASO invites us.”

The 162.5 kilometre stage began in Nizwa and immediately produced a four-man breakaway. Present was Dubai Tour attacker Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport), Maxime Farazijn (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Brian Van Goethem (Roomport-Nederlandse Loterij). They worked well together to build an advantage of four and a half minutes after just 15 kilometres.

The bunch, led by Cofidis and Team Sunweb, set about whittling this down and gradually reduced it to two minutes heading into the final 50 kilometres. The quartet was eventually reeled in nine kilometres from the line. Perichon took the most aggressive rider award as a consolation, while his victory in the two intermediate sprints saw him end the day third overall.

The time bonuses ensured that Coquard ends the day four seconds clear of Cavendish, with Perichon on the same time. Nizzolo is six seconds back, while Farazijn, Van Goethem and Dunne are a further two seconds behind.