Chris Froome (Team Sky) has won stage five of the 2013 Tour of Oman.
The Kenyan-born Brit weathered a series of now-trademark attacks from Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) before outsprinting the Vuelta a Espana champion and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) at the end of a grueling 144km stage from Al Alam Palace to Boshar.
Froome now leads Contador by 27 seconds on general classification, with Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) a further 12 seconds back in third place.
“The team tried to keep things together as well as they could and coming towards the final two climbs Saxo Bank and our rivals lit up the race and made it very hard,” said Froome.
“That left me isolated with Richie Porte to look after me. He did a fantastic job, taking me up to the final climb where I was able to cover the moves from Contador.”
Froome is expected to lead Team Sky in the Tour de France in July and has begun his 2013 campaign in fine style.
Tomorrow’s final stage from Hawit Nangam Park to the Matrah Corniche is unlikely to change the order at the sharp end of the general classification, but may offer a chance for the sprinters.
“Tomorrow hopefully the sprinters’ teams will take advantage of the flatter profile and it should end in a sprint if all goes to plan,” Froome said.
Tour of Oman 2013 – stage five – result
1) Christopher Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 3.34.48
2) Alberto Contador (SPA) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank – ST
3) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha
4) Daryl Impey (RSA) – Orica-GreenEdge +4”
5) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Omega Pharma-Quick Step
6) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale
7) Johann Tschopp (SWI) – IAM Cycling
8) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing Team
9) Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (SPA) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
10) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale
1) Christopher Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 20.04.13
2) Alberto Contador (SPA) – Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank – 27”
3) Cadel Evans (AUS) – BMC Racing +39”
4) Joaquim Rodriguez (SPA) – Katusha +50”
5) Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale +1.13”
6) Johann Tschop (SUI) – IAM Cycling – ST
7)Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +1.19
8)Kenny Elissonde (FRA) – FDJ +1.34
9)Dominico Pozzovivo (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale +1.44″
10) Maxime Bouet (FRA) – AG2R +2.00