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Spain’s Jesus Herrada won the second stage of the Tour of Oman on Sunday to take the overall lead of the five day race on a steep final climb.
This was the Cofidis rider’s 19th career win, a haul that includes two stage successes on the Vuelta a Espana.
The 123 riders set out from Muscat on a 174km ride taking 4hrs 21min 07sec before Herrada proved strongest in the 2.5 kilometre uphill finish to Quarayyat, making his move around 300m from the line to beat Belgian Maxim Van Gils and Italy’s Diego Ulissi.
“Herrada had great legs and took a good win and we are both looking forward to racing like that again tomorrow,” Ulissi said.
In the general classification Herrada holds a 4sec cushion over Van Gils going into Monday’s 152km ride from Al Khobar to Jabal Haat up an 8.5 precent slope of almost 5km.
British veteran Mark Cavendish on his debut with new team Astana dropped over seven minutes on the day ending it in 110th place.
Sprint specialist Cavendish was boxed in from his attempt Saturday to get involved in the finale.