Oman: Lutsenko wins on Green Mountain, pads GC lead

Alexey Lutsenko holds a 44-second lead entering the final stage of the race.

Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko continued to dominate the Tour of Oman Wednesday by winning stage 5 and padding his overall lead with one day of racing left.

Lutsenko out-climbed the field on the finishing ascent of Green Mountain to beat Fabien Grellier (Direct Energie) by seven seconds and Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) by 11 seconds.

Lutsenko takes a 44-second overall advantage over Pozzovivo and a 47-second edge over Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) into Thursday’s sixth and final stage of the race.

“It was a perfect race for us, as everything went exactly how we planned,” said Lutsenko, who now has three stage wins at this event. “The team protected me very well until the second part of the climb and then it was up to me to follow my most important rivals. My main goal was to keep the red jersey, but when I saw the last man from the breakaway just in front of me, I gave it my all and took the victory.

“It was an important and emotional victory for me and the team, and now we focus on tomorrow to secure the overall win.”

Lutsenko won last year’s edition of the Tour of Oman. Wednesday’s stage took the peloton 152 kilometers from Samayil to Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain). The finishing climb was 5.7km in length and averaged 10.5 percent gradient.

The race concludes with Thursday’s stage 6, a 136km route from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Corniche.