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"It's true that safety comes first, and obviously a descent like that, taken at 90-100kph, having to brake almost to stand - it would have made things really complicated, but I'm also a bit sad because I really felt well prior...

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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TOUR OF OMAN

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22.02.2015 @ 12:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Spaniard Rafa Valls (LAM) is the winner of the 6th Tour of Oman after Matthias Brändle (IAM) took a long break to fruition today on stage six, over 131km from Oman Air to the Matrah Corniche, next to the sultanate's capital. The Movistar Team finished the race with a 14th spot by José Joaquín Rojas in the group sprint led by Peter Sagan (TCS, 5th) and especially with the overall podium -third behind Valls and Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) - by Alejandro Valverde, who even tried to improve his final position with an attack in the closing circuit, neutralized by the field.

 

The telephone squad will get back home after their first 'full tournée' in Asia with a victory - the brilliant sprint by José Joaquín Rojas in Qatar, earning him 24 hours in the race lead - four stage podiums - two from Valverde, 2nd in Dubai and also last Wednesday in Al Bustan's finish; two from Lobato, 3rd on the last two days in Dubai - and two presences on the GC podiums thanks to Lobato (3rd in Dubai) and Valverde, who joined Lastras in doing the whole tour of three races.

 

"I jumped across with 3.5km remaining to see if I could improve my overall result," Valverde said. "I knew it wasn't going to be easy, because we would be facing headwinds when we took a turn with 2.5km to go, so keeping a gap alive would be hard, but we had to try. I was brought back with 1.5km remaining, but I'm happy with my work today and throughout the whole week.

 

"I didn't know how I'd really respond on Friday - I actuall knew I wasn't feeling bad, more or less I was rolling good, but since Mallorca, I hadn't climbed a long ascent, we had spent lots of days always on the big chanring and big gears and Green Mountain was extremely hard. I didn't feel good or bad at all, I just wasn't able to find the right speed to tackle it. Still, I'm satisfied with the result: Rafa's win was a strong show and van Garderen had already been runner-up in this race a year ago, he was really motivated to do well.

 

"About what happened yesterday, I agree with the choice the peloton took. It's true that safety comes first, and obviously a descent like that, taken at 90-100kph, having to brake almost to stand - it would have made things really complicated, but I'm also a bit sad because I really felt well prior to the stage and we could have tried something to turn the GC upside down. We could have improved or worsened our final result, but the choice was taken not to continue and I was OK with it.

 

"This tour around the desert was good, a beautiful experience. Now we will take some rest and then head to Strade Bianche and the Volta a Catalunya, which we'll chain almost immediately with the classics."

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