The 5th stage of the Tour of Oman was set to be another great battle but the weather god’s had other ideas. The peloton was greeted by a tremendous sandstorm at the stage start which forced organisers to delay the start and start proceedings further down the race course.
After the restart took place, riders came in to new troubles during the neutral zone when numerous punctures plagued the field. The 40 degree temperature and sandy roads had caused the riders rims to heat up excessively during the descents causing blowouts at high speed.
The riders brought the race to a halt once again to discuss their safety concerns with the UCI and race organisers. In the end the stage was neutralised, with no results being taken into account for the day. Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Louis Meintjes would retain their GC top 10 placings and Louis will start tomorrows 6th and final stage in the races best young rider white jersey.
Jens Zemke – Head of Performance
First they cancelled the stage start because of the sandstorm, which was really extreme. Visibility was really bad because of how strongly the wind and sand was blowing. So it was the right decision to postpone the start and move it to another location. The guys then started the final 90km’s. After 12km in the neutral zone they went down a descent and maybe 10 riders punctured immediately because the rims were getting so hot on a descent that we were reaching 90-100km/h. The riders then argued with the UCI and organisers who then cancelled the stage. So we look forward to tomorrow where we will defend our 5th and 6th place on GC. This will be a great, great result for us at such a high profile event.