Tour of Oman: Sagan takes second stage

Peter Sagan reminded everyone of his immense class and cycling talent and gave Team Cannondale its first ever victory by winning Stage 2 of the Tour Oman with a powerful late attack that allowed him to cross the finish line alone and produce another unique celebration gesture as he crossed he line.

Two late climbs split the peloton, with Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Chris Froome (Team Sky) and most of the other overall contenders in the selection. However, Sagan also had the form to use the rolling climb in the final kilometre as a spring board to chase down a late attack and distance his rivals.

He finished five seconds ahead of Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Leopard), with Martin Elmiger (IAM Cycling) third and Nibali fourth in the same time, while Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was a surprise but impressive fifth at seven seconds, with Froome sixth, at the same time.

Forty other riders, including Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) and Contador all finished at 11 seconds.

Sagan celebrated Team Cannondale's first win by pointing to his green jersey and giving a satisfied thumbs up. After Ivan Basso's links to Dr. Fuentes were exposed in detail by the Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian-based team had something to celebrate.

Thanks to a 10-second time bonus, Sagan also took the race leader's red jersey from stage 1 winner Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano), who finished with most of the other sprinters at 5:33. Gallopin is second overall at nine seconds, with Elmiger third at 11 seconds.

"I'm very happy. This is my first win of season. It's also important for Cannondale, it's the first win for the new team. The pressure's off the whole team now," Sagan said in his ever-improving English.

"It was a good finish for me. I felt good, and I think my condition is improving. I had good legs today."

Sagan also explained how the race exploded on the final climb and the high-speed descent to the finish.

"It was difficult after the descent, Nibali attacked with two other riders and nobody wanted to work. I pulled on the front going at about 45kph, but everybody else left a gap. So I just went at the same pace on the last short climb, caught the others and then I attacked alone and arrived alone. The finish suited me but you always need the legs to win. I had them today."

The last climb explosion

Before the fireworks in the finale, the stage had been another relatively quiet day in the saddle, with Bobbie Traksel (Champion System) again going on the attack to score points for the polka-dot most aggressive rider's jersey.

He went away with Tomohiro Kinoshita (Japan) after just four kilometres and stayed out front for most of the day. Traksel won the first sprint to retain the jersey but the strong headwind on the way back made it hard going and the two were eventually caught by the peloton on the short but steep Al Hamriya climb.

The race exploded on the final Al Jissah climb, six kilometres from the finish. The riders know it well because it is the main road to Muscat from the luxury hotel complex where everyone at the race stays. It is not especially long, but it is steep, wide open and exposed to the wind.

Contador attacked with Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) but other riders chased after them over the top and on the sweeping, breathtaking descent towards the finish. Cancellara, Nibali and Sagan lead the peloton, touching close to 90km/h at one point.

As the road flattened, Gallopin took the initiative with a late attack that also drew Nibali and Elmiger. The trio got a gap and most of the other riders gave up hope. Not Sagan. He opened up the power, set off in pursuit and then blasted past them to win alone.

Race organiser Eddy Merckx watched Sagan celebrate his first win of the season with admiration. No doubt he would have won in exactly the same way.

Wednesday's 190km third stage is from Nakhal Fort to Wadi Dayqah Dam, with a series of short climbs and kick-ups in the final. Sagan won here last year and is favoured again to strut his stuff and show off another celebration pose.

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Full Results
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling3:48:36
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:05
3Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 2 - Cell 2
4Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:07
6Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 5 - Cell 2
7Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling0:00:11
8Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 8 - Cell 2
10Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJRow 9 - Cell 2
11Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 10 - Cell 2
12Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 11 - Cell 2
13Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 12 - Cell 2
14Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 14 - Cell 2
16Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 16 - Cell 2
18Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 18 - Cell 2
20Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Matti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 21 - Cell 2
23Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack LeopardRow 23 - Cell 2
25Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 24 - Cell 2
26Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 26 - Cell 2
28Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 27 - Cell 2
29Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 28 - Cell 2
30Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) KatushaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) FDJRow 32 - Cell 2
34Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 34 - Cell 2
36Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack LeopardRow 36 - Cell 2
38Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 38 - Cell 2
40Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 39 - Cell 2
41Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 41 - Cell 2
43Taiji Nishitani (Jpn) JapanRow 42 - Cell 2
44Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJRow 43 - Cell 2
45Pavel Brutt (Rus) KatushaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 45 - Cell 2
47Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:23
48Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky ProcyclingRow 47 - Cell 2
49Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:40
50Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:00:55
51Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJRow 51 - Cell 2
53Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Feng Chun Kai (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:01:13
57Yuzuru Suzuki (Jpn) JapanRow 56 - Cell 2
58Ryota Nishizono (Jpn) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:01:37
59Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Junya Sano (Jpn) JapanRow 60 - Cell 2
62Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 61 - Cell 2
63Kristof Goddaert (Bel) IAM Cycling0:01:47
64Gatis Smukulis (Lat) KatushaRow 63 - Cell 2
65Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 65 - Cell 2
67Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 66 - Cell 2
68Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack LeopardRow 67 - Cell 2
69Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 68 - Cell 2
70Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 69 - Cell 2
71Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 70 - Cell 2
72Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 71 - Cell 2
73William Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 72 - Cell 2
74Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 73 - Cell 2
75Steve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
76Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 76 - Cell 2
78Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
79Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 78 - Cell 2
80Alexander Kristoff (Nor) KatushaRow 79 - Cell 2
81Wouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Daniele Bennati (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 81 - Cell 2
83Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 82 - Cell 2
84Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro TeamRow 83 - Cell 2
85Xu Gang (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling0:01:52
87Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 86 - Cell 2
88Erick Rowsell (GBr) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 87 - Cell 2
89Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 88 - Cell 2
90Dario Cataldo (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 89 - Cell 2
91Pirmin Lang (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 90 - Cell 2
92Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 91 - Cell 2
93Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 92 - Cell 2
94Jang Chan Jae (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:02:11
95Rudiger Selig (Ger) KatushaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) KatushaRow 95 - Cell 2
97Christian Delle Stelle (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 96 - Cell 2
98Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 97 - Cell 2
99Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 98 - Cell 2
100Markus Eichler (Ger) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 99 - Cell 2
101Vladimir Isaichev (Rus) KatushaRow 100 - Cell 2
102Hayden Roulston (NZl) RadioShack LeopardRow 101 - Cell 2
103Stijn Devolder (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 102 - Cell 2
104Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 103 - Cell 2
105Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 104 - Cell 2
106Marco Haller (Aut) KatushaRow 105 - Cell 2
107Jiao Pengda (Chn) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108David Boucher (Fra) FDJ0:02:47
109Alexander Wetterhall (Swe) Team NetApp-Endura0:03:11
110Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Kazuhiro Mori (Jpn) Japan0:03:23
112Russell Downing (GBr) Team NetApp-Endura0:03:32
113Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:05:33
114Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 113 - Cell 2
115Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
116Grégory Rast (Swi) RadioShack LeopardRow 115 - Cell 2
117Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) AG2R La MondialeRow 116 - Cell 2
118Kenny Robert van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 117 - Cell 2
119Tom Veelers (Ned) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 119 - Cell 2
121Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 120 - Cell 2
122Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky ProcyclingRow 121 - Cell 2
123Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 122 - Cell 2
124Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 125 - Cell 2
127Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
128Matthias Friedemann (Ger) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJRow 128 - Cell 2
130Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
131Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 130 - Cell 2
132Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 131 - Cell 2
133Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 132 - Cell 2
134Yusuke Hatanaka (Jpn) JapanRow 133 - Cell 2
135Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 134 - Cell 2
136Kohei Uchima (Jpn) JapanRow 135 - Cell 2
137Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 136 - Cell 2
138Matt Brammeier (Irl) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Tomohiro Kinoshita (Jpn) Japan0:07:38
140Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:09:15
141Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge0:09:16
142Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:11:52
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Sprint 1 - Samail, 32km
1Bobbie Traksel (Ned) Champion System Pro Cycling Team3pts
2Tomohiro Kinoshita (Jpn) Japan2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-Shimano1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Yiti, 135.5km
1Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team3pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky Procycling1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Points - Al Bustan, 146km
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling15pts
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling9Row 2 - Cell 3
4Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team7Row 3 - Cell 3
5Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Marco Bandiera (Ita) IAM Cycling4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Young riders
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling3:48:36
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:05
3Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ0:00:11
4Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 3 - Cell 2
5Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 5 - Cell 2
7Marco Canola (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 6 - Cell 2
8Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 9 - Cell 2
11Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJRow 10 - Cell 2
12Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Sky Procycling0:00:23
13Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:55
14Feng Chun Kai (Tpe) Champion System Pro Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Boy van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:01:37
16John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 15 - Cell 2
17Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Argos-Shimano0:01:47
18Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 17 - Cell 2
19Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 18 - Cell 2
20Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Evan Huffman (USA) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:52
23Erick Rowsell (GBr) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 22 - Cell 2
24Andrea Di Corrado (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 23 - Cell 2
25Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Jang Chan Jae (Kor) Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:02:11
27Rudiger Selig (Ger) KatushaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Christian Delle Stelle (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 27 - Cell 2
29Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 28 - Cell 2
30Blaz Jarc (Slo) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 29 - Cell 2
31Marco Haller (Aut) KatushaRow 30 - Cell 2
32Wesley Kreder (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:11
33Guillaume Boivin (Can) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:05:33
34Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 34 - Cell 2
36Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 35 - Cell 2
37Marko Kump (Slo) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 36 - Cell 2
38Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 37 - Cell 2
39Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Filippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 39 - Cell 2
41Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF InoxRow 40 - Cell 2
42Kohei Uchima (Jpn) JapanRow 41 - Cell 2
43Tomohiro Kinoshita (Jpn) Japan0:07:38
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Teams
1Cannondale Pro Cycling11:26:10
2IAM Cycling0:00:05
3RadioShack LeopardRow 2 - Cell 2
4Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:00:07
5Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:11
6FDJRow 5 - Cell 2
7AG2R La MondialeRow 6 - Cell 2
8BMC Racing TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Sky Procycling0:00:19
10Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:00:23
11Astana Pro Team0:00:49
12Team NetApp-Endura0:00:55
13Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox0:01:47
14KatushaRow 13 - Cell 2
15Japan0:02:39
16Orica-GreenEdge0:02:49
17Team Argos-Shimano0:03:13
18Champion System Pro Cycling Team0:03:57
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General classification after stage 2
1Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling7:53:25
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard0:00:09
3Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling0:00:11
4Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:15
5Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ