Greipel Back In Red

Stage summary20.02.2014Stage 3- Bank Muscat / Al Bustan

While everyone was expecting the big guns to battle it out in the final tough climbs of the day, stage 3 of the Tour of Oman ended in a bunched sprint at Al Bustan. And when it comes to sprinting, André Greipel is the man of the situation. The German powered to his second stage success ahead of Peter Sagan and Nacer Bouhanni. The Lotto - Belisol rider captures the overall leader's Red Jersey that he had lost on the previous day.

Bank Muscat was a perfect scene to welcome the 142 riders still remaining in the 2014 Tour of Oman for the start of stage 3. Under a bright sun, the pack took off just before noon for a 145-km ride all the way to Al Bustan. As soon as kilometre 4, four men powered away from the pack: Ista (IAM), Wallays (TSV), Boem (BAR) and Maaskant (UHC). Their lead grew rapidly to reach a maximum 3'30 at kilometre 33. Teams Cannondale, Orica-Greenedge, Astana and BMC took command of the pack and the chase started.

At the first intermediate sprint of the day (km 74), Boem managed to beat Ista and Wallays while the pack remained 2' adrift. The front four seemed well under the control of the peloton and with 25kms to go they could only enjoy a 1' advantage. Time then came for the first climb of the day, the extremely demanding, yet short, climb of Al Hamriya. Jelle Wallays took off and reached the top with a 10” lead over Boem, 15” over Ista and 1'05 over the pack.

The first man to struggle was Martijn Maaskant who was eventually caught by the greedy bunch at km 123. Meanwhile the front three riders gathered together again and continued their efforts in the lead. At the second bonus sprint (km 134.5), claimed by Boem ahead of Wallays and Ista, the pack was only 22” behind. The escapees were finally caught at km 135.

The bunched pack then took on the second climb of the stage, the Al Jissah ascent. While 30 riders were dropped, all the big guns remained in the front positions. Dario Cataldo (SKY) reached the top in the lead ahead of his team mate Christopher Froome (SKY) and Peter Sagan (CAN). Just after the top, Froome pulled away, eventually taking with him Sagan, Cancellara (TFR) and Stybar (OPQ) who had caught up in the descent. The leading four, struggling against the strong head wind were finally caught just before the final kilometre. 83 riders remained together for the final sprint. Winner of stage 1 of the event, André Greipel showed, once again, he was the fastest beating Sagan and Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) to the line.

Thanks to his second stage success, his fourth in Oman, the German champion conquers the Red Jersey he had lost to Leigh Howard on the previous day. In the new General Classification, Greipel has an 8” lead over best young rider, Howard (OGE), and 10” over Kristoff (KAT). He also leads the points' classification, while Preben Van Hecke remains most Aggressive rider of the Tour of Oman.

Stage 3 Bank Muscat / Al Bustan

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 6

Classifications after the stage 6

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