Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana) takes the victory at the end of Tour of Oman 2018 stage 4. Former Orica-Scott rider wins for the first time with his new team after having placed his wheels in second place for three times in this season. In this manner Astana colours’ defender crushes the stage finale with three-times repeated Jabal Street climb . Cort Nielsen takes the sprint on Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Alberto Bettiol (BMC Racing), actually today’s leader of the teams which have led the group in the last kilometers of racing. Greg van Avermat (BMC Racing) keeps on his shoulders the leader’s jersey over Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) and Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin)
Even today, Oman’s desert is the scenario of the stage start and development. After an up-hill battle over the six opening kilometers a break opens a gap. Jacques Janse Van Renseburg (Dimension Data), Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Rémi Cavagna (Quick Step Floors), Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Pieter Weening (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) widen the gap to 2’30” with 25 kilometers from the beginning. BMC Racing cannot stand this leaders to have a wide gap and moves up to the lead of the peloton and sets a high tempo: the advantage of the leaders fades below two minutes of width.
When the peloton summits the climb of Wadi Al Kabir (km 38) the break extends again its lead to 2’30”. This advantage has little life and with 70 kilometers to go the bunch, led by BMC Racing and Bahrain-Merida, sits 1’30” behind the leaders. Twenty kilometers later Loic Chetout, after having gained the more possible points at intermediate sprints, is dropped from the leading group and is quickly swallowed by the bunch.
When the break is just over 30” ahead the peloton Danilo Celano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Sindre Skjostad Lunke (Fortuneo-Samsic) bridge the gap and join Jacques Janse Van Renseburg in front of the race. With over 28 kms remaining Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) jumps across the gap and together with Van Rensburg opens a 40” over the peloton led by Katusha-Alpecin and in which Celano and Lunke have been swallowed. The couple in the lead hold on their advantage between 30 and 40 seconds until they hit the slopes of last Jabal Street ascent.
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) starts the show and attacks his rivals as soon as the street ascends. Astana keeps up and assists the Italian try to skim the pack. Gorka Izaguirre (Bahrain-Merida) matches Nibali’s achievements and on the top of the climb attempts to escape. The Spaniard doesn’t succeed in his will and the group, in which head is BMC Racing setting the tempo, reels in. The group, made of 26 riders, moves on his way to the finish line with BMC and Astana keeping up the pace. Once the peloton hits the sprint, Cort Nielsen shows his strength and smoothly wins the stage.
Tour of Oman stage 4 Results
1 MAGNUS CORT NIELSEN, ASTANA PRO TEAM
2 GIOVANNI VISCONTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA
3 ALBERTO BETTIOL, BMC RACING TEAM
4 GREG VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM
5 RUI ALBERTO FARIA DA COSTA, UAE TEAM EMIRATES
6 NATHAN HAAS, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN
7 MARK CHRISTIAN, AQUA BLUE SPORT
8 MERHAWI KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA
9 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT
10 JESUS HERRADA LOPEZ, COFIDIS
Tour of Oman 2018 Overall
1 GREG VAN AVERMAET, BMC RACING TEAM 15H 54′ 20”
2 ALEXEY LUTSENKO, ASTANA PRO TEAM 00′ 09”
3 NATHAN HAAS, TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN 00′ 13”
4 GORKA IZAGIRRE INSAUSTI, BAHRAIN – MERIDA 00′ 16”
5 MIGUEL ANGEL LOPEZ MORENO, ASTANA PRO TEAM 00′ 24”
6 DRIES DEVENYNS, QUICK – STEP FLOORS 00′ 25”
7 ODD CHRISTIAN EIKING, WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT 00′ 25”
8 JESUS HERRADA LOPEZ, COFIDIS 00′ 25”
9 DANIEL NAVARRO GARCIA, COFIDIS 00′ 25”
10 MERHAWI KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN, TEAM DIMENSION DATA 00′ 33”