AL MUSSANAH, Oman (AFP) — Norway’s Alexander Kristoff, who picked up three stage wins last week at the Tour of Qatar, came out on top in a bunch sprint in Thursday’s Tour of Oman third stage.

The Katusha rider was followed home by Italian duo Andrea Guardini (Astana) and Matteo Pelucchi (IAM Cycling) at the end of the 158.5-kilometer ride around Al Mussanah Sports City.

“The team is good, our ‘work rhythm’ is working well and that gives me a lot of confidence,” Kristoff said.

Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) retained the lead in the overall standings, 4 seconds clear of Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and 5 seconds up on Austria’s Patrick Konrad (Bora-Argon 18).

“Danny Van Poppel started his sprint a little too early, he had a strong headwind and I was able to overtake him,” Kristoff said. “I saw that Guardini was close but I managed to keep him behind me.”

Friday’s fourth stage features a summit finish in Jabar al Akhdhar.