After second-place results at the Tour of Sharjah and Etoile de Bessèges, Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) won the opening stage of the Tour of Oman. The Frenchman took a vital early season win ahead of Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Trek-Segafredo's Giacomo Nizzolo.
Coquard was led out by Kevin Reza and Kris Boeckmans, on Boeckmans 31st birthday, and duly finished off the team job. Coquard made sure not to celebrate until over the line, securing his first victory since stage 1 of the 2017 Baloise Belgium Tour.
Coquard will take a four-second lead over Cavendish and Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), who picked up bonus seconds via his presence in the breakaway, into stage 2. The second day of racing will take the peloton from Sultan Qaboos University to Al Bustan, over 167.5 kilometres, concluding with a challenging finale. Aware of the challenge, Coquard, though, is hopeful of again raising his arms in triumph.