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Rabobank’s Robert Gesink extended his lead of the Tour of Oman on Saturday after claiming victory in the fifth and penultimate stage, an 18-kilometer individual time trial.
Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) finished second in the race against the clock with fellow Italian Marco Pinotti (HTC-HighRoad) in third as Gesink claimed his second stage win in as many days.
Organizers did not permit riders to use time-trial-specific equipment in an effort to minimize the costs associated with shipping extra bikes to Oman for a single, short time trial stage.
Winner of Friday’s hilly fourth stage, Gesink consolidated his hold on the leader’s jersey. He now enjoys an advantage of 1:13 over second-placed Edvald Boasson Hagen in the overall standings.
“Winning a time trial comes as something of a shock to me,” said Gesink. “I’ve been working on my time trialing. I am making progress, but I am by no means a specialist.
“Halfway through, (Rabobank director) Nico Verhoeven told me that I had the best time split at that point,” Gesink said. “My legs hurt terribly, but that news and the fact that I had the jersey gave me wings over the second half.”
The sixth and final stage on Sunday will take the peloton over a distance of 157km between Qurayyat and Mattrah Seafront.
- 1. Robert Gesink, Rabobank, 18.5km in 29:20
- 2. Giovanni Visconti, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, in 29:36
- 3. Marco Pinotti, HTC-HighRoad, in 29:44
- 4. Fabian Cancellara, Leopard-Trek, in 29:47
- 5. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky, in 29:49
- 1. Robert Gesink, Rabobank, in 16:44:38
- 2. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Sky, at 1:13
- 3. Giovanni Visconti, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, at 1:19
- 4. Michael Albasini, HTC-Highroad, at 1:52
- 5. Christian Vande Velde, Garmin-Cervelo, at 2:04