Super Sagan wins second successive stage at the Tour of Oman
Last Updated: 14/02/13 11:11am
Peter Sagan: Extended his winning run on the Arabian Gulf
Peter Sagan made it two wins from two at the Tour of Oman by outpacing some big-name rivals on the third day of action.
The Cannondale rider timed his late attack to perfection once again on the lumpy finish up to the Wadi Dayqah Dam, and then battled on to seal another comfortable victory over Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Tony Gallopin (RadioShack).
Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank - Tinkoff) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) had to settle for fourth and seventh places respectively, while Team Sky's Chris Froome ended a disappointing day outside the top 10.
Those results ensured Sagan extended his overall race lead to 16 seconds, with Gallopin in second place and Van Avermaet 10 seconds further drift in third (all results TBC).
The action had begun 190km away at the Nakhal Fort, and for the third day in succession, Bobby Traksel brought the stage to life with an early attack. He was joined in the breakaway by Yusuke Hatanaka (Japan), Christian Delle Stelle (Bardiani Valvole), and Champion System team-mate Chan-Jae Jang, and the quartet's lead was allowed to grow to over nine minutes before Cannondale stepped up the chase.
Once that had happened, the foursome's advantage was gradually reduced and had been all-but halved as they hit the day's sole categorised climb.
Traksel fell off the pace as Delle Stelle set a solid tempo on the Bousher Alamkrat ascent, and after a brisk plummet down the other side, Jang would also sit up after suffering the onset of cramp.
Delle Stelle and Hantanaka pressed on doggedly but their days were numbered inside the last 15km. By then, Team Sky were at the head of affairs with Sir Bradley Wiggins, Peter Kennaugh and Vasil Kiryienka each working hard, but a series of short, sharp climbs would take their toll and it was Sagan who prospered with another stunning late dig.
The Slovak opened up an insurmountable gap as he powered towards the finish, and pulled out another characteristic celebration before wrapping up his second success in 24 hours.