Tour of Oman – Stage 3


Alexander Kristoff’s sprint nets him another victory in 2016 on stage 3 of the Tour of Oman

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Tour of Oman – Stage 3

When it comes to bunched sprints since the beginning of the cycling season, it’s hard to find better rider than Alexander Kristoff. After two hard days of hilly racing on the Tour of Oman, the Norwegian made the best of a perfectly flat course to conquer his fourth success this year, beating Moreno Hofland and Roy Jans to the line by Naseem Park.

The Katusha rider who already captured 3 stage wins in Qatar can enjoy a 50% winning rate after his first 8 days of racing. Solidly positioned in the pack, his compatriot Edvald Boasson Hagen keeps the overall leader’s Red Jersey.


After two fairly demanding and hilly stages, the pack of the Tour of Oman had to deal with a far flatter stage on day three of the event. While injured Johan Van Summeren (ALM) was forced to quit the race, 139 riders took off under a bright sunshine from the splendid Sawadi Beach at 11:20 AM for a 176.5-km ride to Naseem Garden.

After only 1 km of racing, three men managed to break free from the pack: Dehaes (WGG), in the breakaway for the third consecutive day, Slik (ROP) and Kerby (DPC). The front trio was rapidly caught by two other men: Van Goethem (ROP) and Van Rooy (TSV). The gap rapidly grew and reached 4’15” at km 25. From then on, teams Dimension Data, of new overall leader Edvald Boasson Hagen, and Katusha, started chasing down the front men.

At the first intermediate sprint (km 81) claimed by Dehaes in front of Van Rooy and Slik, the gap had dropped to 2′ as thunder storms hit the race. With Van Rooy refusing to cooperate in the breakaway group, three of the five front men powered away at km 125: Slik, Van Goethem and Kerby. While the two dropped riders were caught at km 130, the pack remained 1’50” adrift.

At the second bonus sprint (km 149), won by Van Goethem ahead of Kerby and Slik, the leaders could still enjoy a 1’38” advantage. Under the pressure of the bunch, Brian van Goethem decided to try his luck on his own and took off with just under 20 kms to go. While his former companions were caught, the Dutchman survived until km 169 before his heroics came to an end.

The pack then remained bunched all the way to the final straight by Naseem Park. Well led out by his Katusha team mates, Alexander Kristoff flew to the line, claiming the win ahead of Moreno Hofland (TLJ) and Roy Jans (WGG). The Norwegian captured his first stage of this edition and his third in Oman after triumphing these last two years. With just eight race days in his legs, Kristoff has won four times since the beginning of the season. His three wins in Qatar and this fourth one here give him a 50% success rate.

Well protected by his Dimension Data team mates and comfortably positioned in the pack, Edvald Boasson Hagen who finished at a fine 10th spot today, keeps his overall leader’s Red Jersey. The Norwegian still has a 4” lead over Vincenzo Nibali (AST) and 6” over Greg Van Avermaet (BMC). He also remains in the lead of the points classification while Patrick Konrad (BOA) keeps the White Jersey for the best young rider. Thanks to the points he again conquered while in the breakaway, Kenny Dehaes captures the Most Aggressive rider’s jersey.


Alexander Kristoff: “Of course, all in the peloton looked at us, so we had to take control of the race from the beginning. We did it together with Dimension Data, because they protected Edvald (Boasson Hagen) and his race lead. Everything went ok, but with more or less 5 km to go, my last lead-out man Jacopo Guarnieri punctured. So we had to play the game a little bit smart.”


Photo: © Tim De Waele

“Marco (Haller) did a great job in front, and later he pulled out until the mark of 500 meters to go. Actually, he did a work for two. Later it was Michael (Mørkøv), who did the last lead-out until 200 meters to go. When I started my sprint, no one was able to pass me any more. I happy with this victory. From the one side we lost one important guy before the finish, from the other hand, we showed we could be very flexible in the final mix, and this is really great.”

“It was a bit raining today, but I was ok with this weather. The only thing I was scared about was the slippery road in the final, but fortunately the road was dry, – explained Alexander Kristoff.

Moreno Hofland (2nd) “This is good for my confidence and for the confidence of the rest of the team. We now show that we can do it. Of course I would prefer to win, but this second place is a very nice step for us. In addition, Kristoff currently very strong. ”

Roy Jans (3rd): “It was excellent teamwork yet again,” Jans praised his teammates Robin Stenuit, Marco Marcato, Enrico Gasparotto, Simone Antonini, Mark McNally, Björn Thurau and Kenny Dehaes. At the end I got boxed in at the wrong side of the road. This is why I started my sprint too late. Marcato was with me and we made up some positions but it wasn’t enough. Stenuit couldn’t get passed anymore and I really missed that last man in the final.”

Jean-Pierre Drucker (5th) was thankful for the BMC team’s decision to back him in the sprint. “It’s nice to have the chance and have a card to play one day. So it’s even more important to prove that if they give me the chance that I’m up there.”

Kenny Dehaes most aggressive rider jersey
For the third day in a row Kenny Dehaes was part of the day’s breakaway. He won the polka dot jersey for most aggressive rider in Oman. “It was my intention to be at the front and take points for this ranking. There are several teams after the lead in the classification.”

Dehaes crashed in the first stage of the Tour of Qatar and saw his ambitions for the first race of the year go up in the air. “I wanted to show that I am good and you don’t do that by just sitting in the peloton. This is also good practice for the Belgian races,” Dehaes said.

1. Alexander Kristoff, Team Katusha 4:03:22
2. Moreno Hofland, Team LottoNl-Jumbo
3. Roy Jans, Wanty – Groupe Gobert
4. Mike Teunissen, Team LottoNl-Jumbo
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker, BMC Racing Team
6. Zico Waeytens, Team Giant-Alpecin
7. Berden De Vries, Roompot – Oranje Peloton
8. Robin Stenuit, Wanty – Groupe Gobert
9. Daniel Oss,BMC Racing Team
10. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dimension Data

26. Sam Bennett, Bora-Argon 18
28. Rui Costa,Lampre – Merida
33. Vincenzo Nibali,Astana Pro Team
110. Daniel Martin, Etixx – Quick-Step 0:01:10
114. Mark Mcnally, Wanty – Groupe Gobert
131. Richie Porte, BMC Racing Team 3.26

1 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 11:52:53
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:04
3 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
4 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data 0:00:08
6 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre – Merida 0:00:10
7 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:16




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