Davide Rebellin finished 21st in the “queen stage” of Tour of Oman, with a mountain top finish to Jabal Al Akhdhar. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) took both – the stage win and the overall lead.
That was the day that all the race favorites were waiting for. 177 kilometers with the last 7 going uphill, at average gradient of 10%, were supposed to select the candidates for the overall win. Before the starting pistol went off, Davide Rebellin was sitting in 9th in GC, only 10 seconds behind the leader.
After a lively start, a group of 10 riders broke clear at around 10km mark. It included Davide Cimolai (Lampre – Merida), Daniel Oss (BMC Racing Team), Christoph Pfingsten (Bora-Argon 18), Iljo Keisse (Etixx – Quick Step), Simone Antonini (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Rubin Stenuit (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Berden De Vries (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Stijn Steels (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise), Bradley White (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team) and Michael Reihs (Stölting Service Group). They earned a 4-minute lead and maintained a solid gap until the bottom of the final slope (3 minutes with 20km to go).
On the climb the favorites took over the race though. The one who was the strongest was Vincenzo Nibali and he could celebrate an impressive victory. Few seconds behind him Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) reached the top in 2nd place. Nibali’s teammate Jakob Fuglsang took 3rd.
Davide Rebellin was the first “rider in orange” to arrive to the line, as he claimed 21st place (2:23 back). He now occupies 14th place in overall standings, with two stages remaining. The one that will be held tomorrow may be tricky, with some hills in the second part of the race.