photo credits @ Le Tour
Alexander Kristoff won stage 4 of the Tour of Oman in a hotly contested sprint today, marking the Norwegian rider’s second victory in this year’s race.
After surviving a series of challenging climbs throughout the day, Kristoff succeeded in holding-off Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) in a sprint finale that ended at the Ministry of Tourism.
A sizable breakaway group containing Tanel Kangert (Astana), Axel Dumont (Ag2r La Mondiale), Stefan Küng (BMC Racing), Anass Ait El Abdia (UAE Abu Dhabi), Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors), Stefan Denial (Aqua Blue Sport), Mike Teunissen (Team Sunweb), Fabien Doubey (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), and Daniel Eaton (UnitedHealthcare), managed to ride clear early on in today’s stage.
However, a lack of determination seemed to keep the breakaway group from ever achieving more than a two minute advantage over the peloton throughout today’s relatively short 112 kilometer stage.
Indeed, after tackling the day’s final three climbs of Bousher Al Amerat, the breakaway group was reduced to six riders, after Jungels, Teunissen and Eaton all dropped off the back during the last 43 kilometers.
It wasn’t long after, that the remnants of the breakaway group were caught along the final climb of the day. And, no sooner was the peloton back together, that a large group of 15 riders attacked off the front, including race leader Ben Hermans, along with Fabio Aru and Romain Bardet.
By the top of the climb the front group had opened up a slight gap of 15 seconds over the peloton. But, during the final few kilometers, a series of attacks disrupted the flow of the lead group, which ultimately led to them being caught by the peloton.
From there, the speed of the peloton along the final climb was enough to totally shred the remaining field, leaving the outcome of the stage to those in front.
On the descent, attack followed attack amongst the favorites. Yet, despite the fierce pace at the front, a large group was able to catch the leaders on the final run-in to the finish, with Kristoff once again proving he was the strongest sprinter at the front.
Top 20 Finishers
1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin 2:50:29
2 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
4 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
5 Marko Kump (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi
6 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
7 Benjamin Declercq (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
8 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
10 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo – Vini Fantini
11 Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
12 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
13 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
14 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
15 Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data
16 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors
17 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
18 Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
19 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
20 Lawrence Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport
General Classification after stage 4
1 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 13:50:41
2 Rui Costa (Por) Team UAE Abu Dhabi 0:00:05
3 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:13
4 Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data 0:00:21
5 David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:22
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:23
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24
8 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
9 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb
10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
11 Janier Acevedo (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
12 Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
13 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida
14 Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:33
15 Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data 0:00:44
16 Dimitri Peyskens (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect 0:00:46
17 Lachlan Norris (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
18 Delio Fernandez (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM 0:00:52
19 Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data 0:00:53
20 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:00:56
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