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Ben Hermans takes breakthrough win at Tour of Oman

Josh Cunningham
20 Feb 2017

BMC's Ben Hermans seals overall victory, while Alexander Kristoff makes it three from three in the sprints

Ben Hermans, the 30 year-old Belgian who rides for BMC, achieved somewhat of a breakthrough result at the weekend as he sealed the overall GC at the Tour of Oman.

Hermans won stage two, the first decisive GC battle, in a strongman's uphill sprint, and took the leader's jersey in the process. But it was stage five, a summit finish on Green Mountain, that Hermans stamped his right to win by beating climbing specialists like Fabio Aru (Astana) and Rui Costa (UAE Abu Dhabi) into second and third place respectively. 

Hermans is a former winner of Brabantse Pijl in 2015, and a stage of the Tour of Austria in the same year, but has never achieved successes against the kind of competition he faced in Oman. 

When the race hit the 5.7km climb, which averages 10%, the remnants of the breakaway were still clear, but it didn't take long for them to be reabsorbed by the peloton's front runners. Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) broke clear, but Hermans bridged and later dropped him, with Aru, Costa and a few others hanging on just behind, catching Kudus but unable to draw back level with the Belgian. Video footage shows Hermans collapsing off of his bike once over the line, but the race was his. 

The final stage was won by Alexander Kristoff, making it three wins out of three by the Norwegian in the sprint stages. It was enough for him to seal the points jersey in front of Hermans, while Kudus took the young rider's competition in front of his Dimension Data teammate Lachlan Morton.

The early season Middle Eastern calendar finishes with the Abu Dhabi Tour, which as a World Tour race and with one decisive summit finish stage, will be attracting some big names. It begins on the 23rd February. 

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