Froome Wins Stage, Extends Tour of Oman Lead

Tour of Oman

Tour of Oman

BOSHAR, Oman, Feb 15, 2013 (AFP) – Chris Froome of Britain won the fifth
stage of the Tour of Oman cycle race on Friday to retain the overall leader’s
red jersey.

At the end of the 144 kilometer stage from from Al Alam Palace in Muscat to
Boshar, Sky rider Froome crossed the line half a wheel’s length ahead of
Spain’s Alberto Contador, with another Spaniard, Joaquim Rodriguez, a close
third.

Australia’s Cadel Evans finished four seconds back in a group of six riders
to confirm, after his third-place finish in Thursday’s mountainous fourth
stage, that he is already in form after a five-month spell away from
competitive action.

In the overall standings, with one stage to go, Froome is 27 seconds ahead
of Contador and 39 seconds clear of Evans, who drops back to third.

Rodriguez, winner of the fourth stage, is fourth, 50 seconds off the pace.

The stage included three climbs of the Bousher Almarat in succession, and
Contador and Evans had both broken away from Froome on the final ascent.

However, Froome and Rodriguez eventually caught up with Contador, as Evans
tailed away, and the British rider edged across the line first after a sprint
finish into the wind.

Belgian Philippe Gilbert, the world champion, and last year’s Tour of Oman
winner Peter Velits of Slovakia, both came home in a group 34 seconds behind,
but the stage turned out to be another struggle for Bradley Wiggins.

Froome’s Sky team-mate was more than eight minutes off the pace, as was
Swiss star Fabian Cancellara.

Earlier, Slovakia’s Peter Sagan, who had won back-to-back stages in the
Sultanate on Tuesday and Wednesday, abandoned the race before the stage began.

The race ends on Saturday with the sixth and final stage, another 144km
ride, from Hawit Nagam park in the south of the emirate, and finishes in
Muscat along the Matrah corniche.

Results after the fifth stage of the
Tour of Oman on Friday, a 144 kilometre stage from from Al Alam Palace in
Muscat to Boshar:

Stage
1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky), 3hr 29min 19secs, 2. Alberto Contador
(ESP) same time, 3. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) s.t., 4. Daryl Impey (RSA) at
4sec, 5. Zdenek Stybar (CZE) s.t., 6. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) s.t., 7. Johann
Tschopp (SUI) s.t., 8. Cadel Evans (AUS) s.t., 9. Jesus Hernandez (ESP) s.t.,
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) at 8sec.
Selected
14. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) at 34sec, 20. Peter Velits (SVK) s.t., 29.
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) s.t., 70. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) 8:07, 75. Bradley
Wiggins (GBR) s.t., 77. Taylor Phinney (USA) 12:48, 110. Tom Boonen (BEL) s.t.

Overall
1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky) 20hr 4min 13secs, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP)
at 27sec, 3. Cadel Evans (AUS) 39, 4. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP) 50, 5. Rinaldo
Nocentini (ITA) 1:13, 6. Johann Tschopp (SUI) s.t., 7. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA)
1:19, 8. Kenny Elissonde (FRA) 1:34, 9. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) 1:44, 10.
Maxime Bouet (FRA) 2:00.
Selected
20. Peter Velits (SVK) 3:02, 21. Philippe Gilbert (BEL) 3:04, 42. Fabian
Cancellara (SUI) 11:08, 68. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 18:46, 73. Taylor Phinney
(USA) 19:34, 91. Tom Boonen (BEL) 26:17.

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