Dimension Data Closes Oman With Nizzolo Stage Win

Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo takes sprint finale at Tour of Oman, while South African teammate Ryan Gibbons gives Dimension Data two in the top five.


Words by Aaron S. Lee, Images by Pauline Ballet / ASO and Kåre Dehlie Thorstad / ASO |

Team Dimension Data were all smiles following Italian sprinter Giacomo Nizzolo’s bunch sprint victory on the sixth and final stage of the 10th Tour of Oman (UCI 2.HC) in Muscat on Thursday.

It is the 30-year-old Milan native’s first win of the season — and first since winning the final stage of Vuelta a San Juan in January of last year.

TOUR OF OMAN
20/02/2019 – Tour of Oman – Stage 6 – Al Mouj Muscat – Matrah Corniche – Giacomo NIZZOLO (TDD)

“We said before the start that Ryan [Gibbons] was the man today, but if I would be there after the climb then I could try and that is what happened actually,” Nizzolo told Bicycling South Africa. “For me the first goal was to pass over the climb, then once I was there I said, ‘why not?’ and it went well.

“Great feeling for me and I think also for the team,” he continued. “We’ve had good start to the year, so let’s keep on like this now.”

For team sports director Hendrik Redant, the outcome was not unexpected after both Nizzolo and Gibbons have shown form this week, with the latter claiming three top 5 finishes, including a third-place result on Stage 2 that placed the 24-year-old in the ‘best young rider’ jersey for three days.

TOUR OF OMAN
21/02/2019 – Tour of Oman – Stage 6 – Al Mouj Muscat – Matrah Corniche – Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data). Credit: ASO/Kare Dehlie Thorstad

RELATED: Gibbons: I’m Not Limited To Pure Sprint Stages

“We knew that Giacomo was really motivated — same as Ryan — so we had a plan worked out,” explained Redant. “We kept believing in them, we could have on another stage a bit unlucky with Ryan on the stage finish at the convention centre. But today it all turned out really good and it’s a beautiful day to win in Muscat.”

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko successfully defended his title, claiming the overall victory for the second straight year thanks in large part to three stage wins, including a penultimate stage victory atop Green Mountain on Wednesday. The 26-year-old Kazakh also takes home the green point’s jersey.

Previous points leader and opening stage winner Alexander Kristoff was forced to withdraw after crashing hard in a 10-rider pile-up heading into the first climb with 80 kilometres remaining of the 135.5km finale. The 2018 European champion suffered a multiple abrasions, as well as a deeply lacerated wrist he suspects could have been from landing on a disc brake during the fall. Kristoff told Eurosport his UAE Tour status was uncertain.

TOUR OF OMAN
21/02/2019 – Tour of Oman – Stage 6 – Al Mouj Muscat – Matrah Corniche – Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Dimension Data). Credit: ASO/Kare Dehlie Thorstad

Now Dimension Data turns its focus to the inaugural UAE Tour (2.UWT), which starts on Sunday.

“It’s going to be a tough startlist [at UAE Tour] indeed,” Redant told Bicycling South Africa. “But we are ready. You can see the morale boost of this team was really good. They stick together, they are all friends and friends can work together, and the outcome is a victory.”

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