Action-packed stage in Oman
Bob Jungels was in the day-long break, whilst Yves Lampaert sprinted at the finish, rolling over the line in 9th place.
Fast, furious and eventful; long story short, that's how stage 4 (Yiti – Ministry of Tourism, 118 kilometers) of the Tour of Oman turned out to be. Right from the gun, attacks flew in, but it took more than half an hour for nine riders to extricate themselves from the peloton. When it happened, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels was there, putting in some solid turns and helping the breakers build a maximum advantage of three minutes, which dropped in the second part of the stage, as the Bousher Al Amerat hill – which was to be climbed three times– began taking its toll on the escapees.
The group was reduced to six men, before being overhauled inside the 20 kilometers, when things really spiced up. On the last ascent, it was attacks galore, with several riders pulling away from the bunch, helped also by the strong tailwind, which made the stage even faster. It was all back together on the descent, but only for a short while, as Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Stefan Küng (BMC) launched their own bid for glory, followed shortly by Mathias Frank (AG2R).
It looked like they would make it, but the severely reduced peloton swept past them in the closing kilometers, and the stage concluded in a bunch gallop won by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), who beat Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), the teammate of general classification leader Ben Hermans.
Quick-Step Floors' Yves Lampaert, who showcased his good form ever since starting his season in Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana earlier this month, was 9th on the stage, notching up his third top 10 finish in the space of two weeks, while David De La Cruz (5th) and Laurens De Plus (8th) continue to sit in the top 10 overall, less than 30 seconds behind the red jersey wearer, before the crucial stage between Samail and Jebel Akhdar.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele