uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

After a fast day in brutal Omani heat, Kristoff held off Guardini and Pelucchi in the bunch sprint on stage 3 of the Tour of Oman; Cancellara defended his lead on the eve of the queen stage

Photo: Muscat Municipality/Paumer/B.Bade










19.02.2015 @ 12:22 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After his three stage wins in the Tour of Qatar, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) continued his dream start to the 2015 season when he added the third stage of the Tour of Oman to his palmares. In the bunch sprint on a brutally hot day in the desert, the Norwegian beat Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Matteo Pelucchi (IAM) to claim his  fourth win of the season while Fabian Cancellara (Trek) finished safely in the peloton to defend his overall lead.


With three stage wins in the Tour of Qatar, Alexander Kristoff went into the Tour of Oman as the rider to beat in the bunch sprints. However, the Norwegian failed in his first attempt when he could only manage 5th in the first stage.


After that sprint, the Norwegian admitted to have been poorly positioned and described it as a miracle that he had managed to get so close to the fastest riders. This gave him lots of confidence for today’s stage which was again expected to be one for the fast riders.


Katusha had worked hard in the first stage and this had left them fatigued for the finale. Today they decided to take a backseat and allowed the Trek team of race leader Fabian Cancellara and Matteo Pelucchi’s IAM teammates to work to bring back the early 3-rider breakaway.


That decision paid off as Kristoff had plenty of teammates to support him when it all came down to the expected bunch sprint. Despite most riders being relatively fresh and lots of lead-out trains battling for position, he managed to position himself well for the sprint and he held off stage 1 winner Andrea Guardini and Pelucchi to take his fourth win of the season.


For Cancellara, the only challenge was the brutal heat that saw the temperatures reach 38 degrees and he enjoyed a relatively easy day in the saddle. Hence, he defended his 4-second advantage over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).


He will start tomorrow’s stage in the leader’s jersey but that is likely to be his final day in that position. Stage 4 is the queen stage that finishes at the top of the famous Green Mountain that has been the scene of some big battle in the last few years. After a rolling first part of the stage, the climbers will come to the fore when they hit the brutal 5.7km ascent whose average gradient of 10.5% and 13.5% gradients for the final 1.5km will do a big part in determining the overall winner of the Tour of Oman.


A flat stage

After yesterday’s hilly stage, it was back into flatter terrain for stage 3 which brought the riders over 158.5km from a start at Al Mussanah Sports City and back to a finish at the same place. The race involved two different circuits that consisted of very gradual climbs and descents but nothing was expected to prevent a big bunch sprint.


The riders took the start in very hot conditions as the Omani heat simply gives no room to recover in this year’s edition of the race. After they had paid tribute to Claude Criquelion who died yesterday, the riders took off but with a sprint finish on the cards, there was no real incentive to go on the attack.


Van Meirhaeghe again on the attack

Hence, it was the first attack by Jef van Meihaeghe (Topsport Vlaanderen) who wanted to score more points for his most aggressive rider’s jersey, that paid off and he was followed by his teammate Preben van Hecke and Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani). The trio were already over 1 minute ahead after 3km of racing and the peloton was in no hurry to chase them down.


After 19km of racing, the gap was already 7 minutes and when van Meirhaeghe beat van Hecke and Tonelli in the first intermediate sprint at the 34km mark, it had been extended to 9.15. In the peloton, Cancellara’s Trek team was setting a modest pace and showed no interest in bringing them back.


IAM come to the fore

In the 34 degree temperatures, the riders covered 40.5km in the first hour and now the peloton decided to up the pace. After 50km of racing, they had brought it down to 8 minutes and as IAM now joined forces with Trek, they had it down to 6.35 7km later.


IAM were very eager to set up a sprint finish for Pelucchi and now the gap was coming down quickly. Through the feeding zone at the 77km mark, it was only 3 minutes but the peloton slowed down a bit to allow the advantage to stabilize around that mark.


Van Meirhaeghe gets his points

As the temperature reached 38 degrees, Tinkoff-Saxo decided to apply the pressure in the final uphill section and this had a big impact on the gap. After 116km of racing, it was only 35 seconds but as the peloton again slowed down, it got back up to 45 seconds.


Van Meirhaeghe was desperate to get to the second intermediate sprint and he accomplished his mission when he beat van Hecke and Tonelli at that point after 136.5km of racing. At this point, the gap was back up to 1.20 but van Meirhaeghe had had enough and decided to drop back to the peloton.


Trentin abandons

Inside the final 20km, a big crash brought down several riders, including Nikias Arndt, Warren Barguil (both Giant-Alpecin) and Matteo Trentin (Etixx-QuickStep). While Barguil managed to rejoin the peloton, Trentin was forced to abandon.


Under the impetus of Astana and Movistar, the peloton accelerated and with 16km to go, it was all over for the escapees. The battle for position was now fierce as Tinkoff-Saxo, MTN-Qhubeka and Bora-Argon 18 also came to the fore.


Sky hit the front with 5km to go but they were passed by Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo. Katusha took over but passing the flamme rouge, it was Orica-GreenEDGE who led the peloton. In the end, however, Kristoff came away with the win.



Bycykling 101: Navigering i byens gader og cykelvenlige... 27.11.2023 @ 12:11The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21

Currently no news in this list

39 years | today
Altin SUFA
36 years | today
Frédéric GABRIEL
54 years | today
30 years | today
Francesco ZANDRI
27 years | today