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Cancellara triumphs in an epic end to the first Tour of Oman!
Friday, 19 February 2010

Thanks to the second fastest time of the final individual time-trial of the event, Fabian Cancellara claimed the overall victory of the very first edition of the Tour of Oman. Stage 6 was won by young Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen in a stunning time of 25’58 on the 19 km course, beating Cancellara and Meyer. After Paris-Roubaix, Olympic and World time-trial gold medals and stage successes on the Tour de France, Cancellara adds the Tour of Oman to his victory list. In the final general classification, the Saxo Bank rider won with a 28” lead over Boasson Hagen and Meyer.

Her Excellency Dr Rajha Bint Abdulamir Bin Ali, The Minister of Tourism was the guest of Honour at the final awards ceremony, The Tour organisers, Muscat Municipality, thank everyone who was involved in helping make this inaugural Tour such a success.

Stage 6: Al Jissah – Muscat Corniche, 19 kilometres
125 riders at the start; 16 teams
Perfect weather

The riders only had a short distance to walk from their rooms at the Barr Al Jissah resort to reach the start line for the final stage of the 687 km Tour of Oman: a hilly 19km individual time-trial against the clock taking the riders all the way from the Barr Al Jissah Shangri-La to the Fish Souq Roundabout on the Muttrah Corniche.

Taking off in 92nd position, Edvald Boasson Hagen proved, once again, what a promising rider he is. The Norwegian clocked the fastest time at the intermediate time-check (km 10) in 16’01, before winning the stage thanks to a final time of 25’58 (average speed of 43.902 km/h). The Team Sky rider who had already claimed Stage 3 of the event beat Fabian Cancellara (SAX) by 17” and Cameron Meyer (GRM) by 45”.

In the final general classification, Cancellara won the inaugural tour with a 28” lead over Boasson Hagen and Meyer. The points classification was won by Boasson Hagen who also finishes best young rider. The most aggressive rider standing is claimed by Gatis Smukulis (ALM). "I haven't suffered like that in a time trial for a long time. Even when I won the world title last year it didn't hurt like that," Tour winner, Fabian Cancellara said at the finish.

"It's great to win the overall but most of all it's been a fascinating trip. The Oman people are special. We get hung up about so many things but they know how to enjoy life."

The Guest of Honour for the final stage and presiding over the final rankings for this inaugural Tour was Her Excellency Dr Rajha Bint Abdulamir Bin Ali. The closing ceremony began with a short video recapping a few of the many highlights of the Tour before Her Excellency handed over the first prize; after which she said “ Football is the sport of our stadiums, we have sailing off our beaches and this Tour of Oman has now shown us how cycling is the sport of our countryside. Throughout the last six days we have showcased the beauty of the Sultanate to the world and it is through events like this that we can realise the potential of our Country as a tourist destination.”

The closing ceremony ended with a floury of red, white and green confetti sprayed over the winners and a photo call with the main guests while traditional drummers and young BMX riders also entertained the thousands of spectators who had come down to the corniche to support the riders on their final leg of this grueling six day event.

His Excellency Sultan bin Hamdoon Al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality and event organiser, was extremely pleased with the teamwork that went on behind the scenes to bring an event of this scale to Oman and said "The success of the Tour of Oman is testament to the collaboration of a number of different organisations who have all worked tirelessly together over the last few months to enable us to host such an impressive world class event at a world class standard. My thanks goes in particular to the Royal Oman Police, the Ministries of Tourism, Sports, Education and Interior, our corporate sponsors, but more importantly to every man, woman and child who came out to support the cyclists. The last six days have shown us that we are ready to host international events here in Oman and I hope the Tour of Oman will become a historic event that will firmly become a highlight on the international sporting calendar world wide. This was just the start."

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