Finn Fisher-Black soloed to victory at the Muscat Classic after dropping the remnants of the peloton with an explosive attack up the final climb to Al Jissah.
The Kiwi held off the chasing peloton for his second professional win in the final 4km with the reduced group only able to battle it out for the remaining podium spots. Luke Lamperti (Soudal-QuickStep) won the sprint for second with Amaury Capiot (Arkéa – B&B Hotels) in third.
Former junior World Champion Emil Herzog (Bora-Hansgrohe) looked set for victory after he dropped the final survivor of the day’s early move with a two-minute advantage 25km from the line, but he was chased down over the final climb before Fisher Black attacked.
The Muscat Classic is the one-day warm-up race that precedes the five-day Tour of Oman stage race which begins tomorrow. Fisher Black makes up part of a very strong UAE Emirates team starting with Adam Yates as leader.
A three-man group led the opening half of the race, Manabu Ishibashi (JCL UKYO), Irwandie Lakasek (Terengganu Cycling Team) and Aiman Cahyadi (Terengganu Cycling Team). Their advantage grew past the seven-minute mark but they would drop one by one as the climbs came thick and fast.
Herzog was the first to make any gap stick after active racing in the peloton from Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Dstny) and Adne van Engelen (Roojai Insurance). He launched inside the final 50 kilometres and had reeled in and dropped Ishibashi after 20km of aggressive chasing.
Soudal-QuickStep worked to peg him back with Fausto Masnada and Anthoine Huby both launching attacks that may not have stuck but did reduce the German’s advantage. Herzog was caught just midway up the final climb.
Fisher Black’s attack saw little response with no one able to match his power on the steepest inclines. The peloton had him in their sights as he crossed the line and came to a near halt, but the damage was done.
More to come!
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