Tour of Oman: Alexander Kristoff wins stage two as Leigh Howard takes overall lead

Last Updated: 19/02/14 5:49pm

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Alexander Kristoff claimed his first win of the season

Alexander Kristoff claimed his first win of the season

Sky Bet

Norway's Alexander Kristoff sprinted to victory on stage two of the Tour of Oman as Australia's Leigh Howard moved into the overall lead and Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton.

Kristoff (Katusha) outpaced his rivals at the end of a 139km stage from Al Bustan to Quriyat, beating Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) into second place and Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) into third.

Howard had been second overall at the start of the day, four seconds behind leader Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol), but claimed six bonus seconds for his runner-up finish and now heads the general classification by two seconds.

Kristoff climbs to second overall after picking up ten bonus seconds for his win, but Greipel drops to third, also two seconds back, after finishing the stage only 25th.

Kristoff said afterwards: "In the final, I started a little bit early, with 500m to go. After a rider passed me, I took his wheel and with 200m to go I started again. I just concentrated on myself and my feelings and I gave my all for a victory."

Defending champion Froome (Team Sky) crossed the line in 43rd place and is now 12 seconds down on Howard in the general classification, in 30th. Compatriot and team-mate Ben Swift sprinted to 12th on the day and is now 17th overall.

The riders observed a moment's silence before the stage in memory of Belgian rider Kristof Goddaert, who died on Tuesday in a training accident.

Stage two result

1 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, 3:12:01
2 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, same time
3 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
4 Robert Forster (Ger) UnitedHealthcare, st
5 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ, st
6 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
7 Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, st
8 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC, st
9 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, st
10 Sam Bennett (Ire) NetApp-Endura, st
Selected others
12 Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky, st
43 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st

General classification

1 Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, 7:15:20
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha, +2secs
3 Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol, same time
4 Preben van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise, st
5 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step, +8
6 Nicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
7 Paolo Colonna (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, st
8 Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani-CSF, +9
9 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol, +11
10 Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing, st
Selected others
17 Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky, +12
30 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st

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