Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) added another victory to his long-list of palmares today, after winning stage 3 of the Tour of Oman.
The Belgian rider made the most of a hilly finish on the way to the Wadi Dayqah Dam, to beat Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) in today’s summit finish.
Today’s triumph not only netted Van Avermaet the stage victory, but also moved him into the overall race lead.
Loïc Chetout (Cofidis, Solutions crédits) was determined to shine his golden jersey at the front of the race and accumulate points in the most aggressive rider classification, as the French rider attacked from the outset of the stage and quickly got away with Xandro Meurisse (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Wouter Wippert (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and Nicholas Schultz (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
The quartet opened up a three minute lead after 11 kilometers, but a vigilant Team Katusha quickly reacted to control the gap.
The escapee’s lead never rose beyond 4’30”, but Chetout managed to snatch 12 points before getting back to the peloton to remain leader of the most aggressive rider classification.
Meurisse and Schultz were the last riders at the front with a lead down to 50 seconds with 27 kilometers to go, but both riders were reined in just 6 kilometers later.
Astana proceeded to set a hard pace along the final climb of the day with the goal keeping their man Alexey Lutsenko in position to contest the summit finish.
Only 50 or so riders were left at the front of the peloton during the closing kilometers, while BMC successfully moved Van Avermaet into perfect position to claim the victory.
Meanwhile, the rest of the peloton had splintered, crossing the finish line in small groups, with two of the day’s escapees finally coming over the finish 13 minutes down on the leaders.
1. Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team, Belgium) 4:36:04
2. Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (UAE Team Emirates, Portugal) 4:36:07
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro, Kazakhstan)
4. Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida, Spain)
5. Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin, Australia)
6. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro, Denmark)
7. Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Norway)
8. Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors, Belgium)
9. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro, Colombia)
10. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis, Spain)
1. Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team, Belgium) 12:56:44
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro, Kazakhstan) 12:56:55
3. Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin, Australia) 12:56:57
4. Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida, Spain) 12:57:03
5. Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Floors, Belgium) 12:57:09
6. Odd Christian Eiking (Wanty-Groupe Gobert, Norway)
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro, Colombia)
8. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis, Spain)
9. Daniel Navarro (Cofidis, Spain)
10. Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data, Eritrea)
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