Muscat: Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez clinched victory on stage five of the Tour of Oman on Saturday, as fellow Astana rider, Kazakh Alexey Lutsenko took the lead in the overall standings. Lopez traversed the rugged 152-kilometre (95-mile) stage in under three hours and 45 minutes, with team-mate Lutsenko clocking in at the same time atop Oman’s Green Mountain. Spaniard Jesus Lopez (Cofidis) was third, 12 seconds back. Sunday’s sixth and final stage is a mostly flat 135.5-km (84-mile) route, but with two climbs, finishing off along the Muscat corniche.
The duo went into the final kilometre alone after Astana set a high pace, with chaser Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) finishing third at 12 seconds down. A six-man break formed early in the race and stayed away until the climb to the finish. The last of them was caught halfway up the 5.7-km climb. That set the stage for Astana’s action, as Jan Hirt lead his two team-mates up the steep road. The one-two on Green Mountain sets up a one-two in the overall classification for Astana. Lutsenko now leads Lopez by 11 seconds, with Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), who tried to go with the Astana riders but finished fourth at 15 seconds, is now third overall at 28 seconds.
Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) was one of the favourites going into the stage but was not up to the challenge, finishing 1:32 down. Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) fought hard to defend his overall placing, finishing fifth on the stage at 22 seconds. The Australian is fifth overall at 32 seconds. The USA’s Pete Stetina (Trek-Segafredo) was sixth at 25 seconds, with young British rider Dan Pearson (Aqua Blue Sport) an impressive seventh at 33 seconds.
STAGE FIVE RESULTS
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/Astana) 3hrs, 43min, 58sec, 2. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/Astana) same time, 3. Jesus Lopez (ESP/Cofidis) at 12sec, 4. Gorka Insausti (ESP/Bahrain-Merida) 15, 5. Nathan Haas (AUS/Katusha) 22, 6. Peter Stetina (USA/Trek-Segafredo) 25, 7. Daniel Pearson (GBR/Aqua Blue) 33, 8. Dries Devenyns (BEL/Quick-Step) 43, 9. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 47, 10. Rui Costa (POR/Emirates) 49.
1. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/Astana) 19hrs, 38min, 21sec, 2. Miguel Moreno (COL/Astana) at 11sec, 3. Gorka Insausti (ESP/Bahrain-Merida) 28, 4. Jesus Lopez (ESP/Cofidis) 30, 5. Nathan Haas (AUS/Katusha) 32, 6. Dries Devenyns (BEL/Quick-Step) 1:05, 7. Daniel Garcia (ESP/Cofidis) 1:14, 8. Odd Eiking (NOR/Wanty) 1:24, 9. Merhawi Ghebremedhin (ERI/Dimension Data) 1:29, 10. Rui Costa (POR/Emirates) 1:37.