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Tour of Oman stage 5: Jan Hirt wins on Green Mountain, takes race lead

Fausto Masnada slips down to second overall after Jan Hirt distances him inside final kilometers of 'queen stage.'

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Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) won the queen stage of the Tour of Oman and took over the race lead with a solo attack on the summit finish of Green Mountain.

Hirt, who started the day in third place overall at nearly a minute down, launched his stage-winning attack with about a kilometer to go. His team had set him up perfectly, setting a tough pace at the bottom of the ascent to reduce the bunch to some 15 riders.

Race-leader Fausto Masnada (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) was part of that selection but found himself distanced before Hirt made his move, and it was ultimately a race of damage limitation for the Italian.

Masnada finished almost two minutes behind the Intermarché rider and slipped down to second overall, one minute back on Hirt.

A solid performance from Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates) saw him climb two spots into third at 1:16 with both Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic) and Anthon Charmig (Uno-X) sitting just two seconds behind him with one stage remaining.

The summit finish to Green Mountain has long defined the battle for the overall classification at the Tour of Oman and 2022 would be no different. Masnada started the day in the leader’s red jersey after his solo attack on stage 4, which sent him soaring to the top of the standings.

His Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl squad manned the front of the bunch for much of the day, allowing a group of six riders to form a breakaway in the opening 10 kilometers. Though the break had gone, there was still some tension in the bunch as a fast tailwind turned into a crosswind.

The peloton had to battle the windy conditions throughout and splits did eventually begin to form with Charmig getting pushed into a second group and forced to chase. The Danish rider was one of several to come down in a crash, as was Mark Cavendish, but both were able to get back on and continue the stage.

After a lot of work, the two major splits came back together with just over 40 kilometers remaining.

Quick-Step led the bunch toward the foot of the final climb but as the already diminished group hit the bottom of Green Mountain, a push from the Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert squad saw it further reduced to about 15 riders.

Masnada hung on for as long as he could, but he was already distanced when Hirt put the pain on with just about a kilometer to go.

Charmig, who has been on a run of form of late, was also left to watch the Czech rider sail up the road as he tried to find his own pace behind.

There was no catching Hirt and he pedaled his way to the stage win and the overall race lead with a sprint stage remaining.

Tour of Oman stage 5 results

  1. Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): 03:35:39
  2. Kévin Vauquelin (Arkéa-Samsic): +00:39
  3. Elie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic): +00:48

Overall classification

  1. Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert): 18:25:27
  2. Fausto Masnada (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): +1:00
  3. Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates): +1:16