Tour of Oman Stage 4: Van Avermaet Third, Hermans Keeps Jersey17. February 2017, Ministry of Tourism, Muscat (OMAN) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet sprinted to third place after a fast and furious 118km of racing on stage 4, which saw Ben Hermans’ extend his overall lead.
It was an explosive start to the stage with the peloton facing a steep climb directly on kilometer 0, and the battle for the breakaway played out as the peloton split into multiple groups.
A nine-rider breakaway eventually formed, including Stefan Küng, but was kept within two minutes of the BMC Racing Team-controlled bunch.
Hermans’ teammates did a stellar job to protect his lead and spent the day at the front of the bunch.
As the race hit the three ascents of Busher Al Amerat climb, the breakaway’s advantage started to fall and eventually Küng made a solo attack with 20km remaining.
Küng was brought back, and later attacked with Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), but the race came back together for the bunch sprint won by Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin).
Hermans won the second intermediate sprint to claim three bonus seconds, extending his lead to five seconds over Rui Cosa (UAE Abu Dhabi) and 13 seconds over Fuglsang, before the penultimate stage to Green Mountain.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Tour of Oman
Stage 4: Yiti > Ministry of Tourism (118km)
Top 3: 1. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team), 3. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Greg Van Avermaet, 12. Daniel Oss, 29. Ben Hermans.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.