Columbian Miguel Ángel Lópezo (Astana) powered to victory on stage five of the Tour of Oman on Saturday atop Green Mountain, as his teammate Alexey Lutsenko took the lead in the overall standings. Spaniard Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) finished third on the stage, 12 seconds back.
“A very nice day for us! I am so happy to win today and see next to me this amazing team Astana is,” an elated Lopez said after the stage. “I felt very strong today, the legs worked perfectly on the climb.
“Actually, nobody could attack on the final climb, so we just followed our plan and after a great job of our teammates, we went away together with Alexey. Of course, the climb was super hard, but we managed to pace it as we wanted and finally, we took the stage. That’s a nice feeling to win here and to start my season in this way.”
Stage 5, Top 10
- 1. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno, (COL) ASTANA PRO TEAM, in 3:43:58
- 2. Alexey Lutsenko, (KAZ) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at s.t.
- 3. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 00:12
- 4. Gorka Izagirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 00:15
- 5. Nathan Haas, (AUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 00:22
- 6. Peter Stetina, (USA) TREK – SEGAFREDO, at 00:25
- 7. Daniel Pearson, (GBR) AQUA BLUE SPORT, at 00:33
- 8. Dries Devenyns, (BEL) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 00:43
- 9. Nicolas Roche, (IRL) BMC RACING TEAM, at 00:47
- 10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, (POR) UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 00:49
- 1. Alexey Lutsenko, (KAZ) ASTANA PRO TEAM, in 19:38:21
- 2. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno, (COL) ASTANA PRO TEAM, at 00:11
- 3. Gorka Izagirre Insausti, (ESP) BAHRAIN – MERIDA, at 00:28
- 4. Jesus Herrada, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS, at 00:30
- 5. Nathan Haas, (AUS) TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN, at 00:32
- 6. Dries Devenyns, (BEL) QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at 01:05
- 7. Daniel Garcia Navarro, (ESP) COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CRéDITS, at 01:14
- 8. Odd Christian Eiking, (NOR) WANTY – GROUPE GOBERT, at 01:24
- 9. Merhawi Kudus, (ERI) TEAM DIMENSION DATA, at 01:29
- 10. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa, (POR) UAE TEAM EMIRATES, at 01:37
Shortly after the start in Samoil of the 152-kilometer fifth stage of the 2018 Tour of Oman, a break of six riders went away and opened a five-minute gap on the peloton. However, with the summit finish at Green Mountain, it was going to be hard to hold off the teams of the GC contenders. This was the seventh straight year Green Mountain (5.7km at 10.7%) was included in the race.
The break was caught on the lower slopes of Green Mountain, as Astana had taken the race by the horns and done most of the pacemaking in the peloton throughout the stage. Lutsenko started the day in second overall, just nine seconds behind race leader Greg van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team).
With three kilometers to go, the main group had been whittled down to the elite climbers present at the race. Astana’s Jan Hirt then came to the front of the group and shattered it. Only Lopez, Lutsenko and Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) were able to follow him.
The Astana duo of Lopez and Lutsenko would drop Izagirre before the finish and cross the line together. Lopez took the stage win, while Lutsenko claimed the overall leader’s jersey.
With only one stage to go, Lutsenko leads the general classification of the Tour of Oman, having an 11-second advantage over Lopez and 28 seconds to Izagirre. Herrada came on strong to snatch third on the stage away from Izagirre, but is fourth in the general classification, two seconds back of Izagirre.
The sixth and final stage of the 2018 Tour of Oman will travel 135.5 kilometers from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Corniche.