Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) laid down the foundations for the defence of his Tour of Oman title on Sunday, taking victory in Al Bustan on stage 2. The Kazakh rider took a clear victory over stage 1 winner Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) on the uphill stretch to the line after he launched a solo attack in the hilly final kilometres of the race.
Lutsenko’s win continued a strong run of form for the Astana team across the globe, with Gorka Izagirre taking overall victory at the Tour de la Provence, Miguel Angel Lopez’s home success at the Tour Colombia 2.1 and Luis Leon Sanchez and Pello Bilbao’s back to back wins at the Vuelta Murcia.
Astana put their cards on the table in the latter part of the stage in Oman, working with CCC Team to pull back the main attack of the day before reeling in a late move by Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise), who had already been in the day’s break.
Lutsenko took his chance on the final climb of the day, going all out on the fast descent before the run along the seafront to the finish line. UAE Team Emirates put in a solid shift to try and pull Lutsenko back, but the Astana rider held on to win by just three seconds.
However, Kristoff had done enough to hold onto his race lead for at least another day.