Rabobank’s Theo Bos saw off Britain’s Mark Cavendish and German Roger Kluge to win the first stage of the Tour of Oman here on Tuesday.
Dutchman Bos, a former world track cycling champion in the sprint and keirin, came off the wheel of Australian lead-out man Graeme Brown to beat Cavendish by half a wheel at the finish line and thus claim his first win of this year.
“It’s great,” said Bos, whose older brother Jan was a speed skater who won Olympic silver in 1998 and 2002. “The best sprinters in the world are here and it’s me who’s won. It’s fantastic.”
Cavendish, a 15-time stage winner on the Tour de France and considered the world’s fastest man on two wheels, claimed he had fallen victim to some sign-post confusion in the lead-up to the bunch sprint.
“I didn’t see the sign indicating 3km to go and when I saw we had 2km left I was quite far back in the peloton,” Cavendish said. “When I started the sprint I was way behind the leaders.”
“I was feeling good today, but it just goes to show that even when you’ve got great legs they won’t count for anything if you’re badly positioned going into the home straight,” he added.