Muscat : Magnus Cort (Astana) sprinted to victory on stage 4 of the Tour of Oman, beating Bahrain-Merida’s Giovanni Visconti and Alberto Bettiol (BMC) to the line at the Ministry of Tourism.
The stage included three laps over the stiff climb of Al Jabal Street, which meant that a reduced peloton contested the sprint finish.
Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) led the race by 30 seconds on the approach to the final ascent of Al Jabal Street, having dropped his breakaway companion Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), but the searing pace in the bunch behind meant that the American was brought to heel before the summit.
Bahrain-Merida’s leader Vincenzo Nibali was among the riders to accelerate on the final time up the climb, but Astana’s pace-making meant that it was difficult for any rider to go clear.
Gorka Izagirre led Astana’s Alexey Lutsenko and Miguel Angel Lopez over the top, but the Basque was unable to get away.
On the run-in to the line, both Astana and the BMC team of race leader Greg Van Avermaet worked to ensure the 26-strong leading group came to the finish together.
Cort, who performed so well at the Dubai Tour last week, delivered a powerful sprint to claim the stage honours, while Visconti beat Bettiol to second.
Van Avermaet retains the red jersey after placing fourth ahead of Rui Costa (UAE-Team Emirates) and stage 2 winner Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin).
Stage four: Yiti (Al Sifah) to Ministry of Tourism, 117.5km
1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Astana, in 2 hrs 57 min 36 secs
2. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
3. Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing
4. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing
5. Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
7. Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
8. Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
9. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
10. Jesus Herrada (Esp) Cofidis, all same time
1. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing, in 15 hrs 54 min 20 secs
2. Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana, at 9 secs
3. Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin, at 13 secs
4. Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Bahrain-Merida, at 19 secs
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana, at 24 secs