• Bob Jungels is one of the rising stars in the WorldTour (Paumer/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad)Source: Paumer/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad
Bob Jungels powered to a calculated victory at the Tour of Oman to take the first leader’s jersey of the race against a class field on Tuesday.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
17 Feb 2016 - 7:35 AM  UPDATED 17 Feb 2016 - 11:14 AM

The 23-year-old in just his second competition with new team Etixx-QuickStep put his hand up before the punchy 145.5km opener and said he could win, which he did with an attack two kilometres from the uphill drag to the finish.

Jungels has transferred to the Belgian outfit this year following four seasons with variations of the Trek-Segafredo squad he turned professional with.

“The atmosphere is great,” he said of the new team. “I think the style of riding suits me much better, to be more aggressive in the race.

“I have to say I’m really happy in the team and of course it’s always nice to confirm they didn’t get you for nothing.”

Jungels was one of 16 lead riders that established and stayed away over a quick succession of climbs within the final 25km of the race, which saw Serge Pauwels (Dimension Data) and Romain Bardet (AG2R – La Mondiale) take minor places.

The Luxembourg national champion had an eye on the stage well before the start outside the Oman Exhibition Centre his team got lost riding on the way to.

“We did the recon yesterday and I felt that I had good legs,” he said by the podium.

“I told the mechanics to put a 55-tooth on the front just because I planned this attack for two days, even longer, so I’m happy with it.”

Jungels was conservative when asked how far he could go with the leader’s jersey in the race, however, a newfound conviction could see him push further than expected.

“I just have more confidence this year,” he said. “I don’t know if it comes from the team, or if it’s just a feeling because I’m growing and I’m getting stronger. I always had my freedom at Trek, of course, it was maybe more a team for GC, and so it’s just different in the individual stages.”

The tour continues on Wednesday with an undulating 162km run from Muscat to Quriyat.