Kristoff in classic style

Stage summary17.02.2017Stage 4- Yiti(Jebel Sifah) / Ministry of Tourism

On a day, between Yiti and the Ministry of Tourism, when the contenders for the red jersey had all the ingredients to gain precious time, Alexander Kristoff showed what great legs he had, managing to catch up with the group of favourites after the numerous climbs on the stage's menu and flying to his second success of this 8th Tour of Oman. The Norwegian, part of a group of under 50 riders, powered to the line, beating Sonny Colbrelli and Greg Van Avermaet. Promising before the period of classics to come! It was another solid day for overall leader Ben Hermans who keeps command of the race and even gains precious seconds on his rivals before the all-important stage to Green Mountain tomorrow.

After gathering south-east of Muscate at the very pleasant Al Sifa resort, the 141 remaining riders of the Tour of Oman knew they would have a short but very demanding stage. Just after noon, the pack took off from Yiti heading back to the Sultanate's capital. On the menu: 118kms including five vicious climbs before zooming down to the Ministry of Tourism. Potentially a decisive day on a stage won in the past by the likes of Chris Froome, Peter Sagan or Edvald Boasson Hagen!

After 8 kilometres, nine men managed to break away: Kangert (AST), Domont (ALM), Kung (BMC), Ait El Abdia (UAD), Jungels (QST), Denifl (ABS), Teunissen (SUN), Doubey (WGG) and Eaton (UHC). At the first intermediate sprint, claimed by Jungels ahead of Teunissen and Kangert, the gap reached 1'20''. It grew to 1'45'' at the top of the first climb (Al Jissah) where again Jungels led the way, and it even reached a maximum of 1'50 at the summit of the second climb (Wadi Al Kabir, km 38.5).

That was when team BMC Racing of red jersey Ben Hermans took command of the pack and started chasing. After reaching the top of the first of three climbs up Boucher Al Amerat (from both sides) led out by Denifl, the front group started struggling. Jungels, Teunissen and Eaton were the first to be dropped and eventually caught by the pack. Again Austrian Denifl clinched the most points at the top of the second climb (km 89.5) while the pack moved closer at 1'10''. With 25kms to go, the gap had dropped to 50''. Eventually on the final ascent, only three men remained in the lead: Domont, Kung and Ait El Abdia while the peloton thinned down to around 20 riders including all the favourites. At km 100, it was all over for the escapees.

Fifteen men then powered away in the last kilometre up Bousher Al Amerat including the red jersey, Ben Hermans, his closest rivals, Rui Costa (UAD), Fuglsang (AST) but also GC contenders De La Cruz (QST), Bardet (ALM) and Aru (AST). At the second bonus sprint, Hermans captured 3 precious bonus seconds ahead of De la Cruz and Bardet. With 10kms to go, the leading 15 had a 15'' lead over a group including white jersey Merhawi Kudus (DDD) and 25'' over the Kristoff-Van Avermaet bunch of 20 men. Despite attacks from Mathias Frank (ALM), Rui Costa and Jakob Fuglsang, the first three groups bunched up in the final moments of the race. And the final battle would involve just under 50 men. Well led out by his Katusha-Alpecin team mates, Alexander Kristoff (KAT) outsprinted all his rivals, crossing the line ahead of Sonny Colbrelli (TBM) and Greg Van Avermaet. The Norwegian claims his sixth stage success in Oman, his second of this edition after winning stage 1 in Naseem Park.

Twenty-ninth of the stage, Ben Hermans well protected by his BMC companions keeps command of the general classification and even gains time on his rivals: now 5'' over Rui Costa and 13'' over Fuglsang. Fourteenth today, Frenchman Romain Bardet (ALM) remains in contention for the overall win. On the eve of the stage to Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), he's only 23'' adrift in the GC. Thanks to his win, Kristoff who hopes to shine during the Classics, like in 2014 when he won Milan-San Remo or 2015 when he claimed the Tour of Flanders, re-conquers the green jersey (points classification) while Kudus stays best young rider (white jersey). Part of the break of the day, Stefan Denifl (ABS) takes the most agressive rider's jersey from his team mate Mark Christian.

  • Kristoff in classic style

    On a day, between Yiti and the Ministry of Tourism, when the contenders for the red jersey had all the ingredients to gain precious time, Alexander Kristoff showed what great legs he had, managing to catch up with the group of favourites after the numerous climbs on the stage's menu and flying to his second success of this 8th Tour of Oman. The Norwegian, part of a group of under 50 riders, powered to the line, beating Sonny Colbrelli and Greg Van Avermaet. Promising before the period of...

    read more

Stage 4 Yiti(Jebel Sifah) / Ministry of Tourism

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 6

Classifications after the stage 6

Subscribe

Receive exclusive news about Tour of Oman