Updated: Tuesday, 18 February 2014 23:09 | By Agence France-Presse

Germany's Greipel takes Tour of Oman first stage

Andre Greipel of Germany won a sprint finish to the first stage of the Tour of Oman cycle race in Muscat on Tuesday.

Germany's Greipel takes Tour of Oman first stage

Germany's Andre Greipel of Lotto team celebrates after winning the 2014 Tour of Qatar's fifth stage on February 13, 2014 in Madinat al-Shamal, Qatar - by Karim Jaafar

Greipel, who became the first rider to don the leader's red jersey, edged ahead of Australia's Leigh Howard and Nicola Ruffoni of Italy crossing the finishing line at Nassen Garden.

Greipel, who rides for the Lotto team, has got his season off to a fine start with two stage wins in Australia, in the Tour Down Under, and another in last week's Tour of Qatar.

"This proves I've lost none of my edge when it comes to speed, but it also shows the team is very strong, the guys all worked hard and no-one but us deserved to win today," he said

Greipel did have a moment of doubt in the final run-in as as he found himself trailing a rapid breakaway, but the team came to his rescue.

"It was an awkward moment but Lars Bak put in the work to get me back to the front," Greipel added.

For Tour de France winner Chris Froome, the race favourite, things do not really begin in earnest until Thursday with the first of the climbs, but in the meantime, the sprinters have another day in the limelight on Wednesday with a 139km ride on the flat from Al Bustan to Quriyat.

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