In His Own Words: Brett Lancaster on Tour of Oman Stage 3Thu 14 Feb 2013
Daryl Impey continues to lead the charge for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Tour of Oman where he finished 21st on the stage on stage three, nine seconds down on stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale). Impey now sits in 16th overall, 40 seconds behind Sagan who leads the race after winning back-to-back stages. While Impey remains best-placed, Brett Lancaster animated the late race action with an attack in the finale. In his own words, Lancaster describes the day.
In short, the day was long and slow. It must have been a hard day for the riders in the wind, but not for the rest of us. There was a head/crosswind for the entire stage. Four riders escaped early and built up a reasonable advantage. Cannondale rode on the front all day, and I suspect those boys will be feeling tired tonight. For those of us sitting on while we averaged 38 kilometres/hour, it’s another story. We were only averaging around 150 watts for a lot of the race.
Our plan today? To beat Sagan! He’s in such good form. Gossy [Matt Goss] is struggling a bit with the amount of traveling he’s done lately. He’s had quite good form, but after hopping around the world these last few weeks, I think the changes in weather and time zones plus the stress of travel is having a toll on him. Because he wasn’t an option for us today, we decided we would ride for Daryl.
The day was really straightforward. There was the early break and Cannondale completely controlled the chase. We caught one of breakway riders over the only KOM today. We caught another just after the second intermediate sprint. In the last 20 kilometres, we caught the last two escapees, and it was full gas towards the finish.
Cookie [Baden Cooke] puncture at the end of the race. Again. He did the same yesterday. He had to work really hard to get back to the bunch. He caught us just as we were going up this steep little kicker at the end, and his day was over right there. That’s two days in a row for him. Hopefully he doesn’t make it three in a row tomorrow.
The finish in Wadi Dayqah Dam was a repeat from last year, so [Sport Director] Laurenzo [Lapage] sent us an email last night asking us to check out race footage. We all had a sense of what to expect, but I didn’t think it be as lumpy as it actually was.
In the last ten kilometres, I had the idea that I wanted to attack, so I talked to Daryl to ask if he minded if I took a dig. He told me to go for it. I went on and skipped off the front right around the five kilometre mark. No one came with me, and it was a bit tough out there on my own. I gained ten seconds or so before the bunch brought me back two kilometres later.
Several teams were fighting for position at the front as I got dropped after my little dig. In the end, Sagan proved unstoppable to take his second stage win and extend his overall lead.
I’ve come here after racing in Qatar. The race they run there is a great little race, but consists just of sand and camels. It’s very different here. We see the locals getting out. The guys wearing the dishdasha having a sing on the side of the road with their swords and drums is pretty cool and gives a bit of cultural context to the race. While there isn’t much vegetation, there’s some spectacular looking dry desert mountains that I don’t think most people have seen before. It’s definitely a fun race. We’re all pretty happy to be here.