Final KM: Tour of Oman St3, Vuelta a Andalucia St2, Volta ao Algarve St2

A Dane with his first professional win, a Frenchman nipping past a Spainard, Slovenia versus Ireland finale in Portugal, and a Belgian team that can’t stop winning. It was one heck of a day in the cycling world.

Tour of Oman Stage 3: Sultan Qaboos University to Quiryat, 162km

Team Sunweb took to the start line with a plan and Søren Kragh Andersen finished it off arms outstretched in a victory salute. The young Dane timed his surge on the slopes of the final ascent to perfection, chasing down Quick Step Floors’ Laurens de Plus to capture his first ever professional win. Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) finished second with race leader Ben Hermans (BMC) rounding out the podium and adding the points jersey to his collection. Hermans holds 2secs over Costa, with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) at +10secs.

Highlights…

Winning smiles…

Photographer Kåre Dehlie Thorstad captures such evocative images of the desert races. Check his work out on the Tour of Oman website  and on his instagram.

The last word…

screenshot-2017-02-17-at-01-30-21

It was a huge pleasure to see this young Dane step into the sunlight after following him from U23 races. Mark the name!  There’s a reason he is a #MidgeFavourite and this interview captures it well

Full report at Cycling News

Race Website  Race Twitter  #TOO2017

Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol Stage 2: Torredonjimeno to Alto Peña del Águila, 177.9km

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) put his illness of last week well and truly behind him to claim queen stage victory atop the gruelling Alto Peña del Águila. The Frenchman was the only one able to respond to Trek-Segafredo’s Alberto Contador stinging attack with 3km to go, holding him in sight before outsprinting him at the line. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) rounded out the podium. Baby Blackbird may have lost the stage victory but he rode right into the leader’s jersey, holding 3secs on Pinot and 5secs on Valverde with the time trial tomorrow.

Highlights, we pick it up with 4km to go)…

Ride of the day by Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens. In the break after 4km, went solo with 65km to go, fell off at a roundabout, got back on and was only caught in the last 5km. We salute you!

FDJ’s celebration gifs are getting better and better…

Baby Blackbird in race leader plummage…

Full report at Cycling News.

Race Website  Race Twitter  #63RdS

Volta ao Algarve Stage 2: Lagoa to Alto da Fóia, 189.3km

Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors) just pipped LottoNL-Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic to queen stage honours after a terrific mano-a mano battle to the finish atop the Alto da Foia. The pair finished 20secs ahead of Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky). This makes win number 12 for the Quicksteppers and the leaders’s jersey stays within the team passing from Gaviria to Martin’s shoulders. He now holds a 4secs advantage over Roglic with Kwiatkowski at +26secs. Both are better against the clock than the Irishman – the time trial on stage 3 will be very tense.

Highlights…

Primoz Roglic never gives up and we LOVE that…

Zdenek Stybar and neo-pro Enric Mas rode like warriors to set Dan Martin up at the base of the last climb.

Full report at Cycling News.

Race Website  Race Twitter  #Valgarve2017

Header image: Dam Martin – © LC/Tim De Waele/Corbis via Getty Images

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