The riders of Roompot – Charles Cycling Team showed themselves today. Both in the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman and in the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol we had someone in the breakaway. Moreover, Pieter Weening got a nice stage result in Oman and in Andalusia, Michael Van Staeyen took the sprint jersey.
The Tour of Oman was at stage 5: the queen stage to the Green Mountain, a tough climb of 5.7 km at an average gradient of 10.5%. Pieter Weening got his best result here: he finished in eleventh place! Stijn Steels spent the day in the breakaway, to be captured by the bunch at only 2 km of the finish line. The final stage on Thursday is a flat one, a last chance for the sprinters.
In the opening stage of the Ruta del Sol, Michael Van Staeyen jumped into the early race. More than 120 km later he was reckoned with his six companions. He did keep the leader’s jersey of the intermediate sprint classification after he first and second at the Meta Volantes on the way. Here too a spicy arrival lane, a very steep cobble-lime of about one kilometer. Oscar Riesebeek was the first ROC-rider at the top of the finish in 33rd position. Mathias De Witte became 34th.
Michael Van Staeyen: “I saw six riders escape from the bunch and thought ‘this is a good opportunity to join a large enough breakaway group’. Once in the leading group it was my intention to go for the Meta Volantes. I succeeded. I won the first sprint quite easily, but in the second one I almost lost it because I couldn’t see the line. Fortunately, it did come well.
I don’t know yet if I’m going to make a goal of it. I would also like to show myself in a bunch sprint when it comes to that, but I have to discuss that with the sports directors. I am satisfied with today. The attack hasn’t been for nothing since I take the sprint jersey. So that is nice.”