Sagan Strikes Back, Wins Stage 4 of Tour of Oman 2014
Coming out of the dark, Team Cannondale's Peter Sagan proved he is still capable of winning sprints in professional bike races when he fought his way to victory in stage 4 of this year's Tour of Oman.
seconds behind. Eventually Popovych, Huffman and Wallays were caught at the beginning of the third climb. Greg Van Avermaet, however, carried on alone. The Belgian made it first to the top with an 18 second lead over Sergio Henao (Team Sky Pro Cycling) and 32 seconds over the pack led by Dominik Nerz (BMC Racing Team). The front man was finally caught at kilometer 159 by a group of around 60 riders.
All the general classification hopefuls were present at the front as the riders hit the final climb. Despite many attempts they remained bunched and Team Sky Pro Cycling's Tour de France champion Christopher Froome was the rider first to reach the top ahead of Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Uran.
Like on the previous day, defending champion Froome powered away taking former teammate Uran with him. But he was soon to be caught. On the long descent, three other riders gave it a go with less than ten kilometres to go: Nibali, Sagan, and Uran. A fine move that would pay off as they enjoyed an 18 second lead with 5 kilometers to go. That advantage dropped down to 6 seconds at the final kilometer mark, but it would be good enough to contest the stage victory. The fastest of the three was, as expected, Sagan. He beat Uran and Nibali to the line, thereby claiming his fourth success in the history of the Tour of Oman.
"This morning I expected an animated finale," Sagan explained. "This was a race where many riders could have won, and I knew I had to wait to see how the competition developed. At the bottom of the final climb the reduced peloton started to set up the pace. When Chris Froome and Uran attacked, I thought it was too early for me to move. However, during the last descent I took advantage of the route without pedalling. When Nibali and Uran caught me I thought it was a good idea to work together and try to get to the finish. It was a hard stage, but it made this win even more special. I am happy for myself and for my teammates who always help me in the best way possible."
Thanks to his stage victory, Sagan conquers the overall leader’s red jersey and now has a 10 second advantage over Uran and 14 second advantage over Nibali. The Cannondale rider also becomes the best young rider while Greipel, who crossed the finish line in 103rd position, 21 minutes and 10 seconds adrift, keeps command of the points’ classification. Present in three of four breakaways since the start of the event, Jelle Wallays captured the polka-dot jersey for being the most aggressive rider in the Tour of Oman.