Peter Velits continued Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s remarkable beginning to the 2012 season by taking overall victory at the Tour of Oman after holding off the challenge of Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) on the final stage to Matrah Corniche on Sunday.
Velits had taken hold of the leader’s red jersey by one second the previous day on the unforgiving slopes of Jabal Al Akhdhar, but his tenuous grip risked being loosened completely at the first intermediate sprint on stage 6 when Nibali was incorrectly adjudged to have picked up a two-second bonus by taking second place at the first sprint.
Like Nibali, whose win at Jabal Al Akhdar on Saturday was his first since the 2010 Vuelta a España, Velits had not triumphed since taking the final time trial of that same race en route to third place overall in Madrid. Understandably, his morale will be high as his thought to turn to the main objective of his spring, Tirreno-Adriatico.
“It’s quite early to say what’s going to happen on Tirreno, but with I’m quite happy with my form now,” Velits said.
Beyond that, Velits has one eye on July and the Tour de France, where he will form a solid trident with Leipheimer and Tony Martin. “I want to try to be as good as possible on GC, but it’s early to say,” he said. “We have good guys on the team and we can go to the race with a lot of options, but it’s early to talk about the Tour.”