Coquard clinches opening stage

MuscatBryan Coquard (Vital Concept) delivered a fine sprint to win stage 1 of the Tour of Oman in a bunch finish ahead of Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) at Sultan Qaboos University.

“I’m very happy to win in Oman, because it’s my first big race of the season,” Coquard said. “It’s a new team, a new project and my first win - the second win of the team for the season. It’s very good, I’m very happy.”

Coquard has endured a trying 2018 since switching from Direct Energie to Jerome Pineau’s start-up squad during the off-season. 

Before the Frenchman had even turned a pedal in anger in his new colours, he learned that Vital Concept had been overlooked for wildcard invitations to the Tour de France and Paris-Nice, and he then fell maddeningly short of victory during his first two outings at the Sharjah Tour and Etoile de Bessèges.

On the eve of the Tour of Oman, however, Coquard was bullish about his prospects and the quality of his teammates, and such optimism seemed justified on the evidence of stage 1. 

Ably assisted by a lead-out train where Kris Boeckmans and Kevin Reza featured prominently, Coquard made no mistake in the finishing straight, out-pacing Cavendish, Nizzolo and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) to claim his first win of the year and the second of Vital Concept’s short existence to date.

Timing was of the essence in the finishing straight, where the fast men had to battle into a headwind, and Coquard chose his moment well to emerge a clear winner ahead of Cavendish and Nizzolo.

“It was a very good lead-out. We have a lot of good riders for the lead-out and for the sprint in Oman. It’s very good. I don’t know, with maybe 3km, my team was on the front, and after it was a very good sprint,” Coquard said. 


Performance lab open for football players

The Bahrain Olympic Committee’s (BOC) Athletic Performance Lab started providing a set of medical services for all Bahrain national team athletes.BOC Projects director Lounes Madene said that the performance laboratory is managed by sports specialist Dr. Vladimir Su


Thomas De Gendt wins Romandie stage two

Zurich : Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) added to his portfolio of breakaway wins on stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie, going clear in the opening kilometres with four others before dropping them all in turn to celebrate a solo victory


Ibrahimovic rules out World Cup comeback

Stockholm : Ending weeks of speculation, the Swedish football federation announced yesterday that star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who quit the national squad in 2016, will not make a comeback for the World Cup in Russia.


Qatar cuts ties with their rivals too…

Almost a year after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar, the country has decided to stop consuming goods from its rivals. Qatar’s economy ministry ordered shops to strip shelves of products imported from the four countries, according to a circular s


Bats not to be blamed for Nipah virus, experts say

The deadly  Nipah Virus outbreak in Kerala, India which has claimed 12 lives so far many not have been caused by fruit bats, experts have said. After the blood and serum samples of 21 bats was tested at the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases in Bhopal, this claim has tu


Manama Central Market gets air conditioned

Air conditioners installed inside the Central Market in Manama offer special blessings to vendors as well as consumers alike. Air conditioners have been a long time demand from the part of vendors here. And now the cooling system will boost the massive fruit and veggie shopping extravaganza durin


A single pair of Japanese melons can cost you a fortune

A single pair of premium melons yesterday fetched a record 3.2 million yen ($29,300) at auction in Japan, where the fruit is regarded as a status symbol. Seasonal fruit offerings in Japan routinely attract massive sums from buyers seeking social prestige, or from shop owners wanting to attr