Peter Sagan tops standings at Tour of Oman after fine solo victory on stage two
Last Updated: 13/02/13 3:52pm
Sagan: First victory of 2013
Peter Sagan romped to his first victory of the season in stunning style on the second stage of the Tour of Oman after launching a decisive late attack.
The Tour de France green jersey winner stayed in touch with an elite group of riders on the final climb of the day as the 147km trek from Bidbid to Al Bustan neared its conclusion, and then kicked on in the final kilometre to leave his rivals in the dust before crossing the line with a five-second advantage over RadioShack's Tony Gallopin.
That result also saw Sagan open up a nine-second lead over Gallopin at the top of the general classification after overnight leader Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) was dropped on the stage's final ascent.
Team Sky's Chris Froome meanwhile, moved up to sixth place overall after ending the day in sixth position, two places behind fellow GC rival Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
The action had been brisk from the off with Bobbie Traksel (CSS) and Tomohiro Kinoshita (JPN) edging clear almost as soon as the start flag had been lowered.
The duo's lead had grown to almost six minutes as they approached the first intermediate sprint at 32km, but it wasn't allowed to grow much further as Argos-Shimano and Cannondale eventually joined forces back in the bunch.
Indeed, only 50 seconds stood between the peloton and their prey as they approached the opening climb of the day, and the leaders were swept up before they even made it to the summit. By that point Team Sky were firmly in control with Peter Kennaugh, Sir Bradley Wiggins and Richie Porte all prominent before thrusting team leader Froome into contention.
The pace he and his GC rivals set on the second climb blew the race apart, and Kittel was just one of several big names to lose touch before they commenced the fast descent to the finish.
Various attacks would come out of that lead group in the final five kilometres, but it was Sagan that made his stick, and after battling on he even had time for one of his trademark celebrations before crossing the line triumphant.