Tour of Oman: Kristoff wins stage 3 to Naseem Park

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) continued his storming start to the season by sprinting to victory on the third stage of the Tour of Oman on Thursday. The Norwegian comfortably outgunned Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Roy Jans (Wanty Groupe Gobert) at the end of the 176.5-kilometre stage, which pitched gently downhill all the way from the half-way mark to the finish at Naseem Park.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data), who took the race lead on stage 2, finished safely in the pack to ensure there was no change at the head of the overall standings.

For Kristoff, it’s a case of déja vu – albeit a most pleasing one. His 2016 season is taking on a remarkably similar shape to 2015; victories on stages 2, 4, and 5 at the Tour of Qatar, plus the points classification, have again been followed by a win on day three in Oman.

Kristoff was the most prolific winner in the peloton last year, with a monument to his name at the Tour of Flanders, and things are boding very well for the 28-year-old once again.

Stage 3 was one of just a couple of opportunities for the sprinters at the Tour of Oman, and Kristoff and co will now head towards the back of the bunch for Friday’s Green Mountain showdown and Saturday’s triple ascent of the Bousher Al Amerat climb. They will, however, spar once more on Sunday’s final stage on the Matrah Corniche.

How it happened

Another day and another breakaway for Kenny Dehaes of Wanty Groupe Gobert. The Belgian is seemingly a glutton for punishment and once again got himself into a move in the early kilometres, joined by the Roompot Oranje Peloton duo of Ivar Slik and Brian Van Goethem, as well as Jordan Kerby (Drapac), and Kenneth Van Rooy (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise).

As they headed inland, away from the stage start at Al Sawadi beach, they enjoyed a tailwind and opened up a lead of around four minutes in the first half of the race, which was gently uphill for the most part.

Dark storm clouds were gathering overhead and there was a brief shower shortly ahead of the first intermediate sprint, where Dehaes got some more points on the board, though he’ll never be able to seriously challenge those who have placed highly at the stage finishes.

The speed in the bunch increased as they neared the sprint point, and the gap to the leaders dropped off suddenly to around two minutes before stretching back out.

The road began to head back towards the coast and Van Rooy suffered a puncture, sparking change at the front of the race. He and Dehaes were dropped and made their way back to the bunch while the other three ploughed on. The rain was back for the second intermediate sprint and this time the thunder joined in with a heavy downpour, making for treacherously slippery roads.

Van Goethem took the points at the sprint and, as the gap ducked down towards the minute mark and they passed the 20km to go banner, he decided to take off on his own. He was never going to stand much of a chance and he was duly swallowed up with 10km to, whereupon it was time for the sprinters to find their way through the chaos.

The finish was faster and more crowded than the windy drag finishes in Qatar, but Kristoff still managed to come out on top, crossing the line a good bike length ahead of Hofland.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha4:03:22
2Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
3Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
4Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
5Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
6Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
7Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
8Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
9Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
10Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
11Andrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team
12Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
13Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
14Grzegorz Stepniak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
15Boris Vallee (Bel) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
16Sébastien Turgot (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
17Andre Looij (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
18Amaury Capiot (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
19Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
20Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
21Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
22Carlos Alzate (Col) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
23Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre - Merida
24Marko Kump (Slo) Lampre - Merida
25Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
26Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
27Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
28Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida
29Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Stölting Service Group
30Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
31Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
32Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
33Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
34Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
35Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
36Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha
37Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
38Brendan Canty (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
39Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18
40Stijn Steels (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
41Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
42Tim Kerkhof (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
43Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
44Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
45Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
46Dominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
47Mario Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida
48Dias Omirzakaov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
49Artym Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
50Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
51Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
52Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
53Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
54Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre - Merida
55Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha
56Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
57Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
58Christopher Jones (USA) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
59Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
60Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
61Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
62Rick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
63Marco Marcato (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
64Michael Reihs (Den) Stölting Service Group
65Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre - Merida
66Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
67Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Professional Cycling
68Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Stölting Service Group
69Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
70Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team
71Christian Mager (Ger) Stölting Service Group
72Floris De Tier (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
73Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
74Tim Declercq (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Baloise
75Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
76Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step
77Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
78Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team
79Romain Lemarchand (Fra) Stölting Service Group
80Steven Tronet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
81Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data
82Linus Gerdemann (Ger) Stölting Service Group
83Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
84Wesley Kreder (Ned) Roompot - Oranje Peloton
85Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Giant-Alpecin
86Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
87Vegard Breen (Nor) Fortuneo - Vital Concept
88Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
89Twan Castelijns (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
90Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Team Katusha
91