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by Shane Stokes
February 20, 2017
In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Wellens takes final stage of Ruta del Sol as Valverde lands 100th career victory; Roglic clocks up overall victory in Volta ao Algarve, Antunes lands final stage; Hermans seals Tour of Oman success as Kristoff nets third stage win; Vichot takes Tour du Haut Var, Simon wins final stage; De Riter claims final stage of the Tour of East Gippsland, Lobigs takes overall; Valverde celebrates career milestone but keeps eyes on next objective; Roglic targeting more stage race wins; Cyclist shot multiple times in chest, head in Everton; Andy Schleck ties the knot; Stream wipes out bunch in Tour of Oman; Emirates Team New Zealand mixing sailing and cycling
Second earlier this month in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Ben Hermans stepped up to the top of the podium in winning the Tour of Oman on Sunday. Hermans had taken the race lead on Wednesday when he won to Al Bustan and put in the best possible defence on Saturday’s Green Mountain stage by also winning there.
The BMC Racing Team rider beat Fabio Aru (Astana) by three seconds, with former world champion Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) eight seconds further back in third.
Sunday’s concluder was flatter and early on Iljo Keisse (Quick-Step Floors), Aime De Gendt (Sport Vlaanderen) and Benjamin Geraud (Delko Marseille Provence) got clear and built a near-three minute lead. Geraud slipped back but the other two pushed on, with Keisse then pushing ahead inside the final ten kilometres. He was caught soon afterwards, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) outsprinting Eduard Grosu (Nippo – Vini Fantini) and Sacha Modolo (Team UAE Abu Dhabi) to win. It was his third stage victory in the race.
Hermans finished up 22 seconds ahead of Costa. “I’m really happy that I could take two stages and the GC,” he said. “It’s more than I could have dreamed of. It was the perfect week for me, perfect start to the season. I always like to start the season in good shape and then normally it continues for the rest of the year.”