After a hard 10 minute climb, the American young talent Matteo Jorgenson did a huge acceleration on the final pinch of Jabal Haat, winning his first pro race and becoming the new GC leader of the Tour of Oman.
The stage before the final climb was easy, which meant huge w/kg performances on the final climb as everyone had fresh legs. Jabal Haat is an irregular climb with gradients going over 10%+ in the final 1.6 kilometres, but averaging 7.7% for 4.6km.
The first part of Jabal Haat was paced by the Lotto-DSTNY climbers. They were working for Maxim van Gils who finished second on the first uphill finish in Stage 2 losing only to Jesus Herrada. Today it was a harder finish than on Stage 2 and the climb suited climbers who can push good w/kg for at least 10 minutes rather than puncheurs.
Everything was decided in the last kilometre. After his teammate Abner Gonzalez had the emptied tank with a very hard pace, Movistar leader Matteo Jorgenson tested his rivals’ legs with a hard acceleration, stretching out and shredding the group up 10%+ gradients. After American’s move, Estonian Rein Taaramae counter-attacked, completely shattering the group.
Jorgenson had to do 657 watts for 45 seconds during his attack and later response to follow Taaramae, the latter of whom has just completed an altitude camp in Rwanda and has clearly arrived in great condition. After the huge watts explosion, everyone calmed down and Jorgenson then had to do 393 watts for 99 seconds. This was during the period that Astana’s Tejada began to pace but in the end, he only dropped his teammate Lutsenko. In this period Jorgenson could in theory rest and reload his bullets while pushing close to 6 w/kg.
Jorgenson obviously felt good and started his final punch on Jabal Haat very early, with over 30 seconds remaining on the climb. No one could contest the American in the sprint, who hit a maximum power of 1027 watts at the end of a 10+minute climb. The overall effort of 878 watts or 12+ w/kg for 30 seconds was enough to gap everyone and win with a two-second margin over the closest competitors.
Mauri Vansevenant, Geoffrey Bouchard, Cian Uijtdebroeks, Victor Langellotti and Rein Taaramae were in the following group. This was the second-hardest uphill finish in the Tour of Oman 2023. Uijtdebroeks might follow better on Jabal al Akhdhar as it is a longer climb and needs a more steady high w/kg output. Even with fresh legs, it would not have been easy to follow a 1000w+ sprint at the end of a 10+min climb.
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Jorgenson pushed 6.71 ᵉw/kg for 11:52 min on Jabal Haat based on our estimations, which are normalised for a 60 kg rider. It was an irregular climb with multiple accelerations and the best climbers’ normalised power was probably over 7 ᵉw/kg. If Jorgenson was capable of doing such an acceleration in the final 30 seconds, it is clear he could have pushed more ᵉw/kg with a steadier effort.
Jorgenson’s effort is exactly on the green Grand Tour Top 10 trendline. That is great for the early season but the peloton before Jabal Haat did only 2300 kilojoules for 3:28 h, which is around 10 kj/kg/h. A very easy effort before the climb, which is one of the main reasons for high w/kg output.
Will anyone be able to better Vlasov's early season benchmark from Valenciana on the famous Green Mountain ramps on Wednesday? We cannot wait to find out.