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Herrada on Leading the Tour of Oman: ‘Now I’ll have to try and keep the jersey all the way to the finish’

By Monica Buck

The Spaniard went all out to win on the short but very steep summit finish on stage 2 of the Tour of Oman. He had to catch a breath after crossing the line, bent almost double by the side of the road, heaving heavily, before being able to start the celebratory hugs with the team staff. He was beaten on the rocky summit of Qurayyat three years ago by the eventual overall winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Qazaqstan) and Herrada wasn’t going to be beaten again.

“On Friday in the Muscat Classic, I was already feeling pretty good,” Herrada said after the finish. “I knew this finish from 2019 when I was second and I knew that if we got to the last climb all together as a bunch, if I was in good shape, few riders could beat me.”

Herrada finished third overall in 2018 and fourth in 2019 so he knows his way about Oman’s roads.

“We went up very quickly and I didn’t want to take any risks because everybody wanted to be ahead. It was a nervous finish but on these wide roads, you can sit on wheels a bit and then give it everything you’ve got right at the end.”

He proved to be the fastest out of the five-rider group and now leads with a four-second margin over Maxim Van Gils (Lotto-Dstny) and has six seconds on Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates).

“Day by day,” Herrada talked of his tactics. “One objective here was to get a stage win and now I’ve got that. So now I’ll have to try and keep the jersey all the way to the finish.”

Tour of Oman – Stage 2 results

1. HERRADA Jesus (Cofidis) – 04:21:07
2. VAN GILS Maxim (Lotto Dstny) + 00
3. ULISSI Diego (UAE Team Emirates) + 00
4. JORGENSON Matteo (Team Movistar) + 00
5. VANSEVENANT Mauri (Quick-Step Soudal) + 00
6. LUTSENKO Alexey (Team Astana Qazaqstan) + 03
7. ROCHAS Rémy (Cofidis) + 05
8. RODRIGUEZ Cristian (Team Arkéa-Samsic) + 05
9. DEWULF Stan (AG2R Citroën) + 05
10. FORMOLO Davide (UAE Team Emirates) + 05