Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) followed a lesson from Fabian Cancellara to take his first victory in some 17 months on stage 2 of the Tour of Oman. Haas beat Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) in Al Bustan after launching his sprint up the right-hand side of the road, taking his team’s first victory of the season in the process.
Cancellara won on exactly the same finale at the 2015 Tour of Oman and Haas had done his homework on the Swiss man’s sprint in order to nail his manoeuvre perfectly.
“I did some research on the race. I realised that I’m not one of the phenomena of the cycling world and I have to be a little bit smarter and a little bit more prepared,” Haas told the media after the stage.
“I knew that if I came a little bit from the back, you don’t want to be first or second when you sprint because the drag was quite high up, you can get that slingshot. Cancellara won it on the right by going the shorter line so I put a little bit of his work into what I did today and it paid off.”
Haas and his team were tested to the maximum on the undulating and often brutally steep roads in the latter third of the stage. BMC Racing and Astana both put the peloton under a serious stress test with much of the bunch cracking under the pressure. Haas had to dig deep on the last ascent of the day to hold onto the pace. He broke the ride into more manageable chunks to ensure he was in the select front group.
There was little doubt that it was Haas that had taken the win when he let out a huge roar as he crossed the line before getting off his bike and lifting it in the air.
Rebuilding the car after the Australian heat
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com