Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Nathan Haas (28) took the victory at the end of a demanding stage two of the 2018 Tour of Oman. The Australian rider outsprinted a select group of riders at the finish in Al Bustan in front of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) who finished second and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) in third. Thanks to the time bonuses, Haas now moves into the overall lead ahead of Van Avermaet (4 seconds) and Lutsenko (6 seconds).
On the last climb of Al Jissah, the final survivor of an early break of four riders was caught. The climbs had whittled down the peloton to 16 riders and Haas sprinted into the overall lead.
Today my team KATUSHA ALPECIN was just amazing. It was the first time in a long time that I just had to sit and not to think. They guided me to where I got to do my thing, said Nathan Haas. Last year I was already fifth in this stage when we finished at the top. Today there was a different kind of speed. I decided to lock onto the wheels and just forget about the next part, which was the sprint. So there were two finish lines: the top and then down the hill. I did some research to watch the race. I’ve realized I’m not one of the phenomenons of cycling, so I have to be a little bit smarter or to be just more prepared. I knew I actually had to come a little bit from the back in the sprint. I’ve put a little bit of Fabian Cancellara’s earlier work (2015) into what I did today.
The 2018 Tour of Oman continues on Thursday with stage three, from German University of Technology to Wadi Dayqah Dam covering 179.5 kilometres – the longest 2018 stage. On Friday the race finishes on Green Mountain. The race concludes on Sunday.
I think I am climbing a bit better than I was last year. I am a little bit lighter and my bike is awesome. I’m gonna fight till the end, whether or not I can hold the red jersey or maybe even get on the podium. This is cycling. You can do pretty special things when you are in front, concluded Nathan Haas.
Photos: © Bryn Lennon / Getty Images