Jorgenson Wins Tour of Oman
The fifth and final stage of the 2023 Tour of Oman was contested on a 152.2-kilometer route from Samail to Jabal Al Akhdar.
It was the first time in the history of the Tour of Oman that the race concluded on the legendary Green Mountain. Jabal Akhdar is situated approximately 150 kilometers from Muscat City, capital of Oman. The mountain range is known for its temperate climate during summer months and is a popular retreat used by locals and tourists to escape the heat. The area offers the perfect climate for agricultural production of pomegranates, roses, peaches, walnuts and apricots.
Today, however, the professional cycling teams made good use of the more temperate location to compete in the final stage of this year’s Tour of Oman and continue their build-up for the start of the first major races of the European cycling season.
It was Mauri Vansevenant (Team Soudal-QuickStep) who proved the strongest rider on the green mountain. Vansevenant used the 5.7-kilometer climb to the finish line to secure his first stage victory in the race following a fierce fight up the mountain with its average gradient of 10.5 percent. He was closely followed by Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) who, thereby, managed to defend his overall race lead and be crowned Tour of Oman winner. French AG2R-Citroen rider Geoffrey Bouchard finished third in today’s stage and took the third spot in the final general classification.
It was the first overall stage race victory of Jorgenson’s professional cycling career.
“This was a super special win for me,” Jorgenson told Roadcycling.com after being celebrated on the podium. “Two days ago, I got my first professional win and now the general classification win in a race like this that has previously been won by great stars (such as Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali). It’s incredible and I’m just so very happy.”
“The stage was relatively easy in general, but the final climb was super hard. Maybe I looked confident this morning, but I was pretty nervous because I’m a big, big guy and this climb is hard for me, so it was about making sure I stayed efficient on the climb and did everything as effectively as possible.”
Belgian stage winner Vansevenant said he was very happy with his win and taking the victory in front of his family had made it an extra special experience for him.
According to Vansevenant the final was incredibly hard and he had suffered on the five kilometer climb with its average gradient of more than ten percent. “I was pushing, pushing all the time up the climb and the heat was incredible all day, but I kind of had a good feeling all day, so I tried to go for the general classification win today, but it was too late,” Vansevenant explained.
Last year’s Tour of Oman winner Jan Hirt is part of Vansevenant’s team and he had given valuable advice to Vansevenant on how to tackle the green mountain. “Hirt said wait, wait, wait until the last two kilometers after the flat section and then go full speed, so I did.”