Muscat - Britain's Tour de France champion Christopher Froome successfully
defended his Tour of Oman title on Sunday following the sixth and final
The 28-year-old Kenyan-born Team Sky rider topped
the overall classification ahead of American Tejay Van Garderen and
Colombian Rigoberto Uran.
The sixth stage was won by German
sprinter Andre Greipel, his third stage win of the week, as he edged out
Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni with Ireland's Sam Bennett third.
Greipel rejoiced in what has been a stunning start to the season with
six victories in all, Froome was the rider wearing the broadest smile
describing his week's work as the perfect beginning to his season.
success is a reward for a winter spent resting and then intensive
training in South Africa," said Froome, who spent his teenage years and
was educated in South Africa.
"We didn't get our preparation wrong. The season has been launched successfully."
was also satisfied in his overall level of fitness after on Saturday he
had broken the speed record for the climb of the Green Mountain.
"My level of form is similar to that of last year at the same time, if not better.
"I must not take my foot off the pedal because I could tell this week that other riders are making progress."
Garderen would have been one of those as the 25-year-old American --
fifth in the 2012 Tour de France which was won by Froome's team-mate
Bradley Wiggins -- finished just 26 seconds adrift of the winner.
"Even if I felt I was on form I did not know too much with respect to where I was in comparison to my rivals," he said.
I am reassured by this performance. This fantastic result will give me
confidence and above all the hunger to work even harder in order that I
arrive at the Tour de de France in July in perfect shape," added Van
Garderen, who was a disappointing 45th in the race last year.
1 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol 3:25:41
2 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ.fr
3 Sam Bennett (Irl) NetApp-Endura
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
5 Michael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
1 Chris Froome (GBr) Sky 22:02:26
2 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC 0:00:26
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:31
4 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 0:00:48
5 Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin 0:00:57