photo credits @ ASO/Tour of Oman
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) claimed his third stage victory in four days, after winning today’s Queen stage of the Tour of Oman on Green Mountain.
The Kazakh champion overcame the last early attacker, Fabien Grellier (Direct Énergie), during the closing 200 meters to seize the stage honors, while Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) rounded out the podium in third.
Today’s victory further solidified Lutsenko’s likelihood of clenching the overall title ahead of tomorrow’s final stage that finishes at the Matrah Corniche.
119 riders departed from Samayil enroute to Jabal al Akhdhar, with Julien Duval (AG2r-La Mondiale), Romain Cardis and Fabien Grellier (Direct Énergie), Stijn Steels (Roompot-Charles), Julien Mortier (Wallonie Bruxelles) and Kenneth van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) marking the day’s first breakaway group at the 7 kilometer mark.
From there, the escapee’s went on to establish an advantage of 5 minutes over the peloton, while Team Astana kept a watchful eye on the group.
Half-way through the stage, the leaders succeeded in increasing their gap to 6 minutes, while Bahrain-Merida took over the pace setting duties in the peloton.
When the lead group reached the base of the final climb, they were still holding onto a margin of 3:20, when Grellier decided to attack his fellow breakaway companions.
With 2 kilometers left until the summit, Lutsenko attacked from within the chase group, taking Pozzovivo with him.
The duo eventually caught Grellier during the closing few hundred meters, where Lutsenko commenced his winning move that brought the Astana rider one step closer to securing the overall title.
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