In the first sprinting battle in Tour of Oman, Grzegorz Stępniak finished in 14th place. Davide Rebellin came in in the bunch and didn’t loose time to his biggest rivals in general classification.
Profile of Stage 3 resembled flattened pyramid – first part of the race was going slightly and steadily uphill and the second one, went steadily downhill.
A 5-man group pulled away soon after the start. Kenny Dehaes (Wanty – Groupe Gobert), Ivar Slik (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Brian Van Goethem (Roompot – Oranje Peloton), Kenneth Van Rooy (Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise) and Jordan Kerby (Drapac Professional Cycling) were involved in that move. They took advantage of a tailwind, which occurred early in the race, and brought their advantage up to 4 minutes.
In the middle of the stage riders were surprised by storm clouds and some rain, which is unusual for that region of the world. Fortunately it stopped raining before the final sprint.
In the last 30 kilometers the break disintegrated. Van Goethem, Kerby and Slik were able to stay in the lead. The escapees were getting caught one after another and the last one to get reeled in was Van Goethem.
After two hilly stages, the sprinters finally got their chance to shine. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) benefited the most from that fact and earned a win. He defeated Moreno Hofland (Team LottoNL – Jumbo) and Roy Jans (Wanty – Groupe Gobert).
Grzegorz Stępniak finished in 14th, as the highest GC ranked CCC Sprandi Polkowice rider, Davide Rebellin arrived in the main group. Although he dropped from 6th to 9th, he didn’t loose time to his biggest overall rivals.
Tomorrow is arguably the most important stage of the race. It will end with a 13-kilometer slope to Jabal Al Akhdhar.