The sixth and final stage was a formality for Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko, who had solidified his second straight Tour of Oman (UCI 2.HC) overall race win a day earlier atop the gruelling Green Mountain finish — the 26-year-old Kazakh’s third stage victory of the race.
Lutsenko wrapped the 10th edition of the UCI 2.HC Asia Tour road race the same as he did a year earlier, standing atop the final general classification podium draped in the red jersey 44 seconds better than Italian Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) and 47 seconds ahead of Spaniard Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).
“I’m delighted to win this race again after last year’s victory,” said Lutsenko, who also finished as points winner. “This time I felt even better during the whole race, and together with the support I received from my teammates this edition was even more successful with three stage wins. It’s nice to have this confirmation of my form, now it’s important that I bring this feeling to the first goals of the season.”
Meanwhile, Team Dimension Data were all smiles following Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo’s bunch sprint victory over Stage 4 winner Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Lutsenko’s teammate Davide Ballerini.
It is the 30-year-old Milan native’s first win of the season — and first since winning the final stage of Vuelta a San Juan in January of last year.
“We said before the start that Ryan [Gibbons] was the man today, but if I would be there after the climb then I could try and that is what happened actually,” Nizzolo told Eurosport. “For me the first goal was to pass over the climb, then once I was there I said, ‘why not?’ and it went well.
“Great feeling for me and I think also for the team,” he continued. “We’ve had good start to the year, so let’s keep on like this now.”
Opening stage winner Alexander Kristoff was forced to withdraw after crashing hard in a 10-rider pile-up heading into the first climb with 80 kilometres remaining of the 135.5km finale.
The 2018 European champion suffered a multiple abrasions, as well as a deeply lacerated wrist he suspects could have been from landing on a disc brake during the fall. Kristoff told Eurosport his UAE Tour status is uncertain.