Young American talent Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) flew to his professional victory on stage 3 of the Tour of Oman 2023. The 23-year-old climber made the most of the steepest sections leading to an unprecedented finish in Al Hamra (climb of Jabal Hatt, 4.6km at 8.5%) to get the best of another young rising talent, Belgium’s Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal Quick-Step), and France’s Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën). Not only does Jorgenson take the stage win, he also claims the leader’s red jersey. On day 4, the penultimate stage ahead of the final showdown up Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), the peloton face another explosive finish on the Yitti Hills.
The start from Al Khobar quickly sees five attackers jump ahead of the bunch: Johan Meens (Bingoal WB), Alejandro Franco (Burgos-BH), Said Al Rahbi (Oman National Team), Stephen Bassett (Human Powered Health) and Mohd Harrif Saleh (Terengganu Polygon).
They open a gap of 3’30’’ while Jesus Herrada’s Cofidis take the reins of the bunch to defend the leader’s red jersey.
Cofidis and UAE pull
Al Rahbi and Saleh struggle on an uphill section 45km into the stage. Saleh makes his way back to the front of the race but Al Rahbi drops back to the bunch.
Saleh goes first at the intermediate sprint (km 93.1) to defend his teammate Jeroen Meijers’ golden jersey as the leader of the most aggressive rider classification. He then drops back to the bunch.
Meens, Franco and Bassett enter the last 50km with a lead of 3’30’’. A dozen kilometres further into the race, UAE Team Emirates also send a man at the front of the bunch to participate in the chase.
The gap drops down to 1’40’’ into the last 20km and under a minute with 12km to go. The attackers are eventually caught just ahead of the final ascent: 4.6km at 8.5% with sections around 15% in the last 2km.
Already in the top 5 up Qurayyat, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) senses his opportunity to make a difference. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) also wants to make it a hard race. But nobody, not even the Kazakh all rounder (a 2-time winner of the Tour of Oman), can’t resist when Jorgenson sprints to victory in the final 200m. – Tour of Oman
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