Movistar dominates the Middle East: Jorgenson reigns in Oman

This Movistar is another. A free team, without point pressure, without that fear that seemed to block the team for a good part of last season. From La Vuelta in August they clicked, they changed the chip once they knew that their continuity in the World Tour was not in danger and they began to get great results. In this way he entered 2023 and, being only in the middle of February, the team shows a spectacular performance. The last to show this was Matteo Jorgenson (23 years old) who won the general of the Tour of Oman. The American, one of the great bets of the present and future of the Spanish team, was able to successfully defend his leadership in the fifth and final day with an outcome in the classic Green Mountain. The stage victory went to the Belgian Mauri Vansevenant, who finished behind Jorgenson in the general classification… just one second away.

“Wait, did I win? Let them confirm it for us just in case, ”said the tall American runner (in perfect Spanish) at the finish line about his success in the general classification. From the team they told him to calm down, that he had it: “You were five seconds ahead of him and at the finish line you entered together, with the bonus you are still ahead.” After an initial celebration, and a pause to assure, he returned to shouting and shaking his companions. She confirmed it and closed a perfect week: his first victory, the one achieved in the third stage, and the overall. He dressed as a leader in Jabal Hatt and no longer let go of the garment. He arrived with confidence and warned during these days under the heat of Oman: “I feel that I am one of the strongest, or the strongest.”

The last stage was missing to finish off, with Green Mountain as decisive as ever. He has ridden in eleven of the twelve editions of the Tour of Oman, and the overall winner was always first or second on this peak. Jorgenson joins that statistic, and is also the youngest ever to win the general. At the exit from Samail, Movistar breathed optimism: “Let’s go for it.” They had 152 kilometers ahead of them, most of them flat… before the final climb: 5.7% to 9.9%. The escape of the day, again with the presence of Burgos BH, it was neutralized shortly before beginning to ascend, since from the beginning of the ascent the group was reduced to single units. One after another they fell, with sections of up to 13% unevenness, heat… and from the top of the mountain you could see a red jersey shine: it was Jorgenson in the lead, who sought double stage and general success.

Vansevenant (left), Jorgenson (center) and Bouchard (right), on the podium.

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Vansevenant (left), Jorgenson (center) and Bouchard (right), on the podium.Alex BroadwayGetty

“Despite everything, it was a good day, I felt great at all times,” he said at the top. In the final stretch Vansevenant arrived and the Belgian, accompanied these days by his family and who is called Mauri in honor of Melcior Mauri, the one who was the winner of La Vuelta in 1991, prevailed. Stage for one, general for another. It was not agreed by any means (just a second difference after five stages) but the two ended up relatively happy. Movistar continues with its cruising speed and its dominance of the Middle East: This same month, the Portuguese Ruben Guerreiro won the Tour of Saudi Arabia, while his partner did the same in Oman. Races that the team did not usually go to and that (in addition to signing a collaboration agreement with Arabia last winter) aim to be fixed in the coming seasons on the team’s calendar. They arrived with Jorgenson as the leader, as his teammate Verona warned, and they were right. Among the Spaniards, Cristian Rodríguez, Jesús Herrada and Carlos Verona, 7th, 8th and 9th, they arrived around a minute later, with Herrada seventh (he won a stage this week), the best overall. Oman, a country where trail running is one of the most practiced sports, sees how cycling is growing more and more.

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Classification of the fifth stage

1º Mauri Vansevenant (BÉL/Quick Step) 3h 53:51

2 Matteo Jorgenson (USA/Movistar) mt

3rd Geoffrey Bouchard (FRA/Ag2r) at 12

7th Cristian Rodríguez (Arkea) 58

8º Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 58

9th Carlos Verona (Movistar) 1:00

final overall

1 Matteo Jorgenson (USA/Movistar) mt

2nd Geoffrey Bouchard (FRA/Ag2r) to 1

3rd Mauri Vansevenant (BÉL/Quick Step) 28

4th Rein Taaramae (EST/Intermache) 46

7th Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 1:20

8th Cristian Rodríguez (Arkea) 1:22

10th Carlos Verona (Movistar) 1:37

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