After a day spent controlling the pace at the front of the bunch, Team Sunweb positioned Max Walscheid to take 5th in the opening stage’s bunch sprint.
The action in Oman got underway today with a 162.5 kilometre stage suited to the fast men of the peloton. The stage saw a four rider breakaway edge clear within the first 10 kilometres, opening out a lead that peaked at four minutes. With their sprinting ambitions in mind, Team Sunweb spent the day assisting with the pace setting at the front of the peloton.
Timing their catch to perfection, the breakaway riders were swept up inside the final 10 kilometres of racing. With team’s fighting to position their sprinters to take their first victory of the season, Team Sunweb lined up to propel Max Walscheid across the finish line where he finished the day in 5th place.
After the stage Max said: “The team work was really good today but the result doesn’t make me so happy. We had a good plan and everyone was dedicated to it but in the end we were a bit on the early side for the sprint. I think I played the sprint well and tactically was clever; I started accelerating slowly and held back my power a bit but unfortunately in the decisive moment where I stood up and wanted to give my final kick I was boxed in. I think this was a solid opener for the Tour of Oman and we can be proud of how we rode. There are more opportunities that we will continue to fight for.”
Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers added: “Everything went well for the team today. The break was caught with 10 kilometres to go and we had Tom Stamsnijder in the chase along with three other teams controlling the bunch for a good lead out for Max. In the end the lead out was good, but Max ended up getting boxed in for the sprint. We can achieve higher but we can be pleased with how the race went and the good cooperation that we saw amongst the team.”