Young American, supported by strong Movistar Team, shows his world-class quality at Jabal Haat’s final slope, takes red jersey with two days remaining in the Middle East.
After just over three seasons seeking for an elusive victory, Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team) was finally able to savour the taste of winning within the pros, and he did so in style. The young American from Idaho claimed a convincing victory on the slope of Jabal Haat, second of three mountain finishes in the Tour of Oman, to take over the leader’s jersey in the Sultanate.
Matteo bested Mauri Vansevenant (SOQ) and Geoffrey Bouchard (ALM) after two strong accelerations over the final kilometer to leave his rivals behind. To those, he arrived in fresh condition after excellent support from his sixt team-mates: Norsgaard and Erviti, from the very start; Sosa, Verona and Kanter, leading up to the climb; and Abner González, heading into the finish.
Another massive boost of confidence for an in-form Telefónica-backed squad, with five victories in less than a month of racing, and for Jorgenson, who will tackle one of the biggest challenges in his short career (23 years old; just two Grand Tours under his belt) on Wednesday’s climb to the Green Mountain (5km at 10%).
REACTION / Matteo Jorgenson:
“It’s a super special day, a huge relief. I’m not a rider used to win so much, I honestly thought a day like this would never happen, and today I could get that pressure off and open my account. I’m so thankful to the team for their work. They always kept me in great position, covered from the wind. Mathias and Imanol at the start; Max completed a perfect leadout into the foot of the climb; then, my Pan-American friend, Abner González, from Puerto Rico, who rode so strong over the last few days despite coming right from PR and his jet-lag. I knew from the previous day’s stage that I had really good legs, and I wanted to test my rivals on the final slope. It took a second for them to make it back, I knew I was strong, then I launched my sprint with 200 meters to go. This gives me great confidence on my condition, to be the strongest on such an effort, though I know Green Mountain will be quite a longer climb and, more importantly, harder. I’m hoping we can control the situation well; help Max out tomorrow, so he can claim his own first pro win; and try and defend this leader’s jersey on Wednesday.”