Chris Froome wins 2013 Tour of Oman
Great Britain's Christopher Froome was well-protected by his Sky teammates in the 144 kilometer stage 6 of the 2013 Tour of Oman, which the riders started in Hawit Nagam Park and concluded with three Matrah Corniche circuits. Sky Procycling left nothing to coincidence, so Froome's overall race lead remained safe throughout the whole stage.
Team Katusha's Gatis Smukulis celebrated his team's recent upgrade to WorldTour status by breaking away from the peloton after only a few kilometers. Together with Team Vacansoleil-DCM's Wesley Kreder and Andrea Di Corrado he formed today's breakaway group, but they were kept under close surveillance by the Sky team and the teams who were hoping for the stage to conclude in a sprint finish.
In a fierce sprint to the finish line, which was situated next to the seashore, French national champion Nacer Bouhanni proved to be the fastest and strongest man and he crossed the finish line significantly ahead of Matthew Goss (Team GreenEdge) and Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team).
Froome won the 2013 Tour of Oman by 27 seconds to runner-up Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff). BMC Racing Team's former world champion Cadel Evans finished third overall, 39 seconds behind Froome. It is Froome's first overall victory in a stage race.
Froome was quick to thank his teammates for their strong and loyal support during the six days of racing in the heat of Oman. "The guys have done a sterling job this week and been around me when it has counted. Luckily I've been able to come up with the goods and finish it off at the end of the stages."
Kenny Ellison of Team FDJ won the best young rider classification, Team Champion System's Bobbie Traksel deservingly was awarded the Most Aggressive Rider title, and the BMC Racing Team got the honor of winning the best team classification.
"This is still very early days at the moment and early on in the season. This was a preparation event and a good test to see how the winter training has gone so far. I'm quite confident that I'm on track at the moment and right where I need to be with my preparations in view of being ready at 100 percent for the Tour de France," Froome explained.
"Third isn't bad," Evans commented before leaving the finish area. "It was a nice race with a good level of riders. It's hard to say something about my condition for the Tour de France, but I can say that after my first race I am feeling good and my condition is good." Evans said his next race will be the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico (March 6-12), followed by the defense of his overall title at Critérium International on March 23-24.