|Tour of Oman - Ben Hermans crowned winner [19-02-17 15:20 by staff GoNBike.com]|
Ben Hermans Crowned Tour of Oman Winner
19 February, 2017, Muscat (OMAN)
Ben Hermans has claimed the first stage race win of his career after winning two stages and the overall victory at the Tour of Oman in an impressive display of strength and determination.
Hermans wore the leader's red jersey after taking the win on stage two of the six-day race, and with the entire BMC Racing Team behind him, defended it until he crossed the finish line on the Matrah Corniche today safely in the bunch.
Despite a scare when he crashed on the approach to the first climb, Hermans and his BMC Racing Team teammates were flawless all week and showed impressive strength at the front of the bunch to control the race.
Hermans' win signals his maturity and abilities as a rider after claiming second place at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, and now going one better in Oman.
With two stage wins and the overall victory at the Tour of Oman, BMC Racing Team has recorded nine wins this season.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Firstly, tell us about the stage today with the crash.
"I was scared that something like that [crash] could happen, especially with the wind as the whole peloton was nervous. It was very dangerous and then they made a big mess by chasing the breakaway down for the sprints. It was just nervous but this is bike racing so we always have to be concentrating until we cross the finish line."
How can you summarize your performance here?
"I'm really happy that I could take two stage and the GC. 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."
Did you know coming into the race that you were in such good shape?
"I knew from training that I was really, really good. I was going so hard. I already had this feeling several times but I never won the GC, I won stages or I won classics, but I was never performing so well against the kind of climbers who are here. So in this way I surprised myself."
How do you feel going into the rest of your season after such a good start?
"It definitely gives me more confidence. I am not the level of Richie Porte, Tejay van Garderen or Greg Van Avermaet. I am going to have my chances though I think. For the classics perhaps I will have a chance. Liege-Bastogne-Liege is for sure a goal for me."
Valerio Piva, Sports Director
"It was an amazing week. It was amazing to see the whole team working together. It was very nice and of course Ben was very strong to win two stages and the overall, but everybody helped. Without the team it was not possible so it is a team victory. When we came here the idea was to win a stage and we didn't have the overall win in our minds so much. Of course, you think about it. When Ben was really strong on the first climb we knew we could go for the win and we pulled it off. It's a great way to stat the season, after an already successful first month of racing for BMC Racing Team."
Tour of Oman
Stage 6 The Wave Muscat > Matrah Corniche (130.5km)
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), 2. Eduard Grosu (Nippo-Vini Fantini), 3. Sacha Modolo (UAE Abu Dhabi).
GC Top 3: 1. Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team), 2. Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi), 3. Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team).
::BMC Racing Team - Press Release::
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