Tour of Oman: Stage 4

A second stage win for Alexander Kristoff in Tour of Oman, Ben Hermans holds on to race lead

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Tour of Oman: Stage 4

Team KATUSHA ALPECIN’s Alexander Kristoff is so far one of the most successful riders of the year. On stage 4 of the Tour of Oman, the Norwegian rider took his third victory of the 2017 season.

Photo: © Tim De Waele

In front of the Ministry of Tourism, Kristoff was the fastest to the line beating Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrein Merida Team) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing team).

After the tough stage to Quriyat and on the eve of the decisive climb of Jabal Al Akhdhar (or Green Mountain), day 4 of the Tour of Oman was almost as demanding. Taking off from the splendid resort of Yiti (Al Sifah) just by the sea, the peloton went up and down all day. A total of five difficulties were on the course of this short 118-km stage including three in the last 40kms.

Kristoff: “We knew it could be a sprint with a select group. Last year I was dropped but we were determined to go deep. We wanted to go all the way to finish. It was not easy at all as I was dropped again on that last climb but the teammates did an amazing job. First of all, they stayed with me all day, but later they managed to pull it back for me.”

“It was fantastic what Rein Taaramäe, Marco Haller and Reto Hollenstein did till the end. Without them I would never have been able to win. We managed to come back and then it was up to me to finish the job in the sprint. It is cool to win like this. This was a real team effort. It cannot get better”, said Alexander Kristoff.
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Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team) still leads the General Classification. Alexander Kristoff is back in green as leader of the Points Classification.

Greg Van Avermaet (3rd): “The team was really amazing today. Everybody put in a good effort and we controlled the whole race. In the end everything came back and the guys did a perfect lead out for me, but I just wasn’t fast enough to beat Alexander Kristoff. But I think we can be happy with how we did. Everybody should be proud to ride BMC today because we were a really strong team. I think that everybody was impressed by us and we can look forward to tomorrow.”

Ben Hermans (race leader): “It was a really, really, hard day. There was a breakaway of nine riders which is a lot. Stefan Küng was there but he was just there for the stage win if the group stayed away. The plan was for me to defend the jersey and for the stage victory with Greg Van Avermaet. In the end it worked out well. Tomorrow if a big day and I’m feeling good.”

Stefan Küng (in the break for BMC): “For me it was good to be at the breakaway. I didn’t really mean to be but at the beginning we were just trying to make sure that not everybody went and suddenly I was there in the breakaway. As we are defending the jersey, I didn’t have to work, and this also encouraged others not to do much. In the end I felt really good. When you feel that you can win the stage with the legs that you have you want to try, but the battle for the GC started so I tried to help Ben and cover the moves, which worked well.”

Stage
1. Alexander Kristoff, Team Katusha – Alpecin
2. Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
3. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team
4. Nathan Haas, Dimension Data
5. Marko Kump, UAE Abu Dhabi
6. Kristian Sbaragli, Dimension Data
7. Benjamin Declercq, Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise
8. Oliver Naesen, AG2R La Mondiale 1
9. Yves Lampaert, Quick-Step Floors
10. Marco Canola, Nippo – Vini Fantini

29. Ben Hermans, BMC Racing Team
38. Daniel Pearson, Aqua Blue Sport
72. Mark Christian, Aqua Blue Sport
109. Adam Blythe, Aqua Blue Sport
127. Matthew Brammeier, Aqua Blue Sport
131. Andrew Fenn, Aqua Blue Sport 11:32

GC
1. Ben Hermans, BMC Racing Team513:50:41
2. Rui Costa, UAE Abu Dhabi 0:05
3. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team 0:13

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