Just 10 days after giving birth to his son Jules for the first time, Tim Merlier has already received his first bouquet of flowers for his mother, Cameron Vandenbroucke. In the first stage of the Tour of Oman, Merlier overtook David Dekker and Axel Zingle. Arne Maret finished fourth.
With a young heart, Tim Merlier had to leave his newborn son Jules behind a few days ago to complete his first official race kilometer of the season in Oman.
Despite some moderate climbing, the first stage of the Tour of Oman was ideal for the runners. Anyone who thought of a royal sprint with Mark Cavendish was disappointed. Cavendish was still in good standing shortly before the end, but the Briton faded.
As is often the case at Soudal-Quick Step, preparation for the sprint was textbook. Merlier was not taking any risks by starting early, and the competition was a long way off.
With a swinging move similar to Romario and Bebeto at the 1994 World Cup, the Belgian champion also confirmed the birth of his son. For Merlier it was also a good start to his career with his new team.
Merlier: “It’s important to win quickly”
At the Muscat Classic yesterday, Tim Merlier wasn’t ready for the sprints, but now he can seize his chance. “It’s important to win early in the season, especially because I’m new to the team and just became a father. I’ve already won on the field, but that’s the most important thing. I’m very happy about it.”
“It was a slow stage, so everyone could start the race fresh, which makes it more difficult to find a position. Overall, it went well. I lost Bert van Lerbergh before the last corner, but I quickly found him again and was able to give him a signal. “
“In turn, he signaled to Jordie Warlop to start the race. I started a little early, but fortunately I was able to maintain the high pace until the end and that was enough to win.”
|Stage 1 result|
|1.||Tim Merlier||147 km in 3h31’00”|
|2.||David Decker (Dutch)|
|3.||Axel Zingle (France)||everyone|
|5.||Christopher Halvorsen (No)||same|
|6.||Pascal Ackermann (German)|
|7.||Matthew Walls (Britain)||time|
|8.||Alexander Salby (Den)|
|9.||Max Kanter (German)|
|10.||Rüdiger Seelig (German)|
|Ranking after the first stage|
|2.||David Decker (Dutch)||on 4″|
|3.||Jeroen Myers (Dutch)||5″|
|4.||Axel Zingle (France)||6″|
|5.||Rodrigo Alvarez (Spa)||zt|
|A tour of Amman|
|02/11||Ride 1||Al Rustaq Fort – Muscat||148 km||Merlier||Merlier|
|12/02||Ride 2||Muscat – Qurayyat||174 km||Jesus Herrada||Herrada|
|13/02||ride 3||Al Khobar – Jabal Hat||152 km||Jorgenson||Jorgenson|
|14/02||ride 4||Izki – Yeti Hills||205 km||Ulysses||Jorgenson|
|15/02||ride 5||Samail – Green Mountain||153 km||Vansevenant||Jorgenson|