Norway’s Alexander Kristoff was all smiles on top of the podium after winning stage four of the Tour of Oman.
The day’s 118 kilometre challenge five ranked climbs and several breaks but a lead group of the overall favourites formed near the end and looked set to battle it out between themselves for the win.
But due to a tricky finale which included three closing laps of a circuit course, the lead group splintered and a fast riding peloton were able to catch them setting the stage for a mass sprint to the line.
Kristoff from the Katusha-Alpecin rider had more in the legs than his rivals to take the win just ahead of Italian Sonny Colbrelli and Belgian Greg Van Avermaet.
BMC Racing’s Belgian rider Ben Hermans finished in the first group and extended his lead to five seconds over Portugal’s Rui Costa with two stages left.