Charmig victorious in Oman after just seven pro race days

QURAYYAT OMAN FEBRUARY 12 Anthon Charmig of Denmark and UNO X Pro Cycling Team celebrates winning the Red Leader Jersey on the podium ceremony after the 11th Tour Of Oman 2022 Stage 3 a 180km stage from Sultan Qaboos University to Qurayyat 240m TourofOman on February 12 2022 in Qurayyat Oman Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Anthon Charmig of Denmark and UNO X Pro Cycling Team celebrates winning the Red Leader Jersey at the Tour Of Oman 2022 (Image credit: Getty Images)

Danish climber Anthon Charmig (Uno-X Pro Cycling) claimed the first win of his young career on only his eighth race day as a pro at the Tour of Oman's uphill finish at Qurayyat.

After Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) had made a bid for victory on the steepest inclines in the final 500 metres of the 2.8-kilometre finishing climb, it was the 23-year-old who surged past in the closing stretch of road to grab the win.

Speaking ahead of the stage, which saw him claim the leader's red jersey by four seconds over Hirt, Charmig said his riding at the Saudi Tour – where he finished third at the Abu Rakah uphill finish – gave him confidence heading into this race.

"I think it's a bit similar to stage 2 in Saudi, where I was third, so for sure that gives some confidence," he said. "I'll probably try to follow Søren Kragh Andersen, who won here in 2017, see what he does, and hopefully end up among the best."

In the end, Charmig's fellow countryman trailed in 44th place, 1:53 down on the stage winner, who had also out-climbed the likes of Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic), Fausto Masnada (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl), and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates).

After the stage he said that he had gone on the defensive on the lower slopes of the hill, hoping to follow wheels as he had stated in the morning. Being a neo-pro on Uno-X, a ProTeam but still a step below the stature of WorldTour teams like QuickStep-AlphaVinyl, he was able to stay 'hidden' somewhat, before making his winning jump.

"I think I tried to do a bit defensively from the bottom of climb and just follow wheels as much as I could," he said after the podium ceremony which saw him don both red and white jerseys.

"And yeah, I think we're still not the biggest team here or the biggest riders so we can hide a bit, but in the end I had enough to win.

"Of course, we want to challenge the WorldTour teams when we get the chance to race against them. So, it's really nice to show that we are also a team that can compete with the best."

With his first professional victory coming just weeks after stepping up from the Continental ranks, Charmig, who finished sixth at last year's Tour of Turkey, looks set to follow in the tracks of former Uno-X riders such as Tobias Foss, Markus Hoelgaard, and Andreas Leknessund, who are currently making their mark in the WorldTour.

However, before any talk of greater things and bigger races, there's still plenty for him to do at the Tour of Oman, including defending his jersey on the hilly fourth stage in Muscat and, of course, the summit finish at Green Mountain on Monday.

"I think that we will do our best, but it's going to be some tough stages," he said. "I think that the Green Mountain stage is probably the most similar one to today. It's just about on the climb who has the best legs. So yeah, I hope that's me, but we never know.

"I was confident going into this stage but yeah, to finish it off with a win that's really something. So I'm just really, really happy."

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