Muscat: Matteo Jorgenson(Movistar) of the United States of America (USA) won the 12th edition of theTour of Oman2023 after keeping his rivals at bay on the climb up Jabal Al Akhdar, Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah. Finishing with the same time as stage winner Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step), Jorgenson managed to hang on and keep the leader’s red jersey by just one second.
A couple of days after his first professional victory, he becomes the first American overall winner of the Tour of Oman. Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën) finished third on the stage at 12 seconds and so moved up to third overall at 28 seconds.
Jorgenson said, “Today was about the team, they were super strong and gave me super support. At the end, it was about confidence and doing my best on the climb if I could.”
He added, “It was between the top three in the GC and with the time bonuses at the finish, it was difficult to know how it would go. I had to finish on the same time as Mauri. He is a good sprinter, has a good kick and is strong. I think the guy with the strongest sprint won the stage and I hung on for GC, and it makes me so happy.”
Jorgenson also became the youngest winner of the Tour of Oman.
He added, “It’s been a beautiful tour. Oman has treated me super well and I was happy to see the country. I hope to be back next year. I have loved Oman.”
Vansevenant was the strongest on the brutal slopes of a 5.7km ascent to take an emotional stage victory in front of his family, who came from Belgium to support him. The young Belgian started only five seconds behind Jorgenson in the overall classification and gained four seconds, thanks to the time bonuses, but fell just short in the final stages.
Vansevenant said, “For sure I am happy, but a little bit disappointed. It was all or nothing. I knew if I got a good result today, I could win the General Classification. I won the stage, but didn’t win the Tour. I will come back, but for now I have to focus on the next races. It’s a steep climb and you need to push as hard as possible. I didn’t attack on 500 metres to go to feel how it was, but if you attack you have to sit down again because with the heat it is not easy, and he came back and I knew it would be difficult. My family is here, and it’s nice to celebrate with them.”
Jorgenson also won ‘Best Young Rider’ for the second day in a row, along with the ‘Individual Time’ and ‘Individual Points’ awards, adding to his accolades from the Tour of Oman. Norway’s Fredrik Dversnes (Uno-X Pro Cycling) claimed ‘Most Active Rider’ for the second successive day.
The closing ceremony of the Tour of Oman 2023 was held in front of Bait Al Ridaida Castle in Birkat Al Mouz, Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah under the patronage of HH Sayyid Mohammed Thuwaini Al Said.
Footage of the races is also available in 190 territories through 50 TV/Digital broadcasters with daily highlights and full race highlights.
The Tour of Oman 2023 was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, Muscat Municipality and the Oman Cycling Association. – ONA
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