The Tour of Oman (2.Pro) made its return on the racing calendar this Thursday after two years of absence, with the first of the six stages in the Middle Eastern sultanate. Under the direction of Valerio Piva, the six riders of the Intermarché–Wanty–Gobert Matériaux departed at the foot of Fort Al-Rustaq, with 25 degrees on the thermometer, for an opening stage of 138 kilometers towards the capital Muscat, where a bunch sprint was expected.
The peloton had no trouble controlling the three breakaways, whose lead fell under a minute after the ascent of Fanja (1 km at 9%), the only listed difficulty of the course located more than 40 kilometers from the finish. The peloton then prepared for the bunch sprint, on wide roads exposed to the wind.
In the final kilometers, a strong job from Julius Johansen allowed both Hugo Page and Tom Devriendt to enter the last kilometer in the first positions. Eventually, the French neo-pro was forced to improvise in the sprint because the two men were locked up 400 meters from the finish. He took 8th place, while the leaders for the GC Jan Hirt and Rein Taaramäe crossed the line in the same time as the winner Gaviria (UAE).