Lutsenko takes it all, set to defend title

MUSCAT: Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) took his third stage win in four days on Wednesday with another display of power on Green Mountain. The Kazakh champ overcame the last early attacker, Fabien Grellier (Direct Énergie), in the final 200 metres to establish his dominance while Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) came third. Ahead of the final stage to the Muttrah Corniche, Alexey Lutsenko is set for his second overall victory on the Tour of Oman.
A pack of 119 riders start stage 5 without Huub Duijn (Roompot-Charles). With Green Mountain waiting for them, attackers are inspired and it takes 7 kilometres for six riders to go clear. Julien Duval (AG2r-La Mondiale), Romain Cardis and Fabien Grellier (Direct Énergie), Stijn Steels (Roompot-Charles), Julien Mortier (Wallonie Bruxelles) and Kenneth van Rooy (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) cover 44 km in the first hour on windy roads to open a 5 minutes gap to the peloton led by Alexey Lutsenko’s Astana.
The leading group pushes its advantage to 6’ halfway through the stage. Domenico Pozzaovivo’s Bahrain-Merida then set the pace in the bunch. The attackers
work well together and get to the bottom of the final climb up Green Mountain (5.7 km, 10.5 per cent) with a lead of 3’20”.
Fabien Grellier goes solo early in the climb. The pack is quickly reduced to a handful of climbers and Domenico Pozzovivo is the only one able to follow Alexey Lutsenko when the red jersey accelerates with 2 km to go.
The duo moves closer to Grellier: 30” for the final kilometre, 15” with 500m to go… until Alexey Lutsenko makes his key move inside the last 200 metres. The Kazakh star only needs to confirm on Thursday his absolute triumph.