14 februari 2012
Tour of Oman 2012
The third edition of the Tour of Oman kicked off on Tuesday
February 14th with a 159km stage from Al Alam Royal Palace to Wadi
Al Hoqay. The first stage of the race was marked by a breakaway
attempt of four riders that were caught with 20km to go. The stage
ended as expected in a mass sprint. German Andre Greipel clearly
won the sprint besting Russian Denis Galimzyanov, American Tyler
Farrar and Koen's German teammate Marcel Kittel to take his fourth
win of the year. Koen crossed the line in 23rd place in the
The second stage of the Tour of Oman took the peloton over a
distance of 140.5km from Sur to Wadi Davgah Dam. A tough and
technical final kilometre deprived the pure sprinters of a chance
to dominate again but equally discouraged breakaway attempts. The
final had an incline of 8% which leveled off during the final few
hundred metres in addition to four turns making positioning in the
peloton crucial to stay with the first group. It was the fast
finishing young sprinter suited to tough finishes, Peter Sagan,
that took the stage victory and the leader's jersey. Koen crossed
the line in 55th place, in the company of teammate Albert Timmer,
46 seconds down on Sagan.
On the third stage of the Tour of Oman, Project 1t4i finally got
their revenge. Marcel Kittel was able to finish off the teams work,
of which Koen played a role, to perfection when he won the 144 km
stage from Al Awabi to Bank Muscat. German Andre Greipel finished
second while Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni came third, American Tyler
Farrar fourth while the winner of stage two Peter Sagan came fifth.
Koen crossed the line in 14th place in the company of teammate Roy
Curvers who was 15th.
Photo: Marcel Kittel wins the third stage in Oman under the
watchful eye of one of his teammates in the background the eye of
one of his teammates (with thanks to ASO)
On Friday February 17th the fourth stage took the peloton 142km
from Bidbid to Al Wadi al Kabir. As the route contained several
short but tough climbs Koen's team did not see the route as one
that would favour a repeat of Marcel Kittel's stage win of a day
earlier. Despite the peloton breaking into several groups due to
the climbs, several strong finishes managed to hang on or bridge up
to the leading group to dispute the stage win. It was German Andre
Greipel who won ahead of Peter Sagan. Koen sprinted to the front
and took 12th place. Marcel Kittel crossed the line about four
minutes after Greipel in a group containing several big sprinters
including World Champion Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar.
Saturday's stage was the queen stage of the Tour of Oman
starting from Royal Opera House and finishing 158km later in Jabal
Al Akhdar with an uphill finish on Green Mountain. The stage was
won by Italian Vincenzo Nibali. Koen crossed the line in 49th place
at 6'13" from Nibali.
"Glad that this stage is over with," Koen said after the finish.
"It was hot, there was a head wind and then the finishing
The final stage was another success for Project 1t4i. Marcel
Kittel showed himself to be the fastest, adding a second stage win
on top of his stage 3 success. Peter Sagan came second and Tyler
Farrar came third. Koen crossed the line in 57th place.
The overall classification was won by Slovakian Peter Velits. Koen
finished the race in 39th place overall.