A strong 5th place finish from Merhawi Kudus on stage two of the Tour of Oman will see our 24-year-old now don the white jersey as the leading young rider in the race.
The stage was won by Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) followed by Greg van Avermaet (BMC) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana).
The second day of racing in Oman was from Sultan Qaboos University to Al Bustan and featured a number of climbs over the 167.5kms route.
An early four-man breakaway after 8 kilometres included Loic Chetout (Cofidis), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo), Fabricio Ferrari (Cajal) and Danny Pate who spent most of the race out in front.
The latter was dropped with under 30km to go and eventually the main bunch swallowed up the remnants of the chase on the final climb of the day within the final 10kms.
As the racing really fired up in the final stretch a number of attacks were launched including one from Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step) with 4kms to go that was quickly reeled in.
The final surge for the line included a group of 14 riders with Haas pulling clear on the right hand side of the road to clinch victory.
Kudus also lies 4th in the GC with Mark Cavendish currently 4th in the points jersey classification.
Merhawi Kudus – Rider
“I’m happy with today’s result and it was an amazing job by the team. It was really good from them especially with the experience of Mark Cavendish, I was really fresh until the last climb and I had a good sprint and finished in a good position. I’m really happy about today and I’m look forward to the upcoming stages.”