BMC’s Ben Hermans all but assured himself of overall victory at the Tour of Oman on Saturday after winning the penultimate stage five to stretch his lead at the top of the general classification.
A five-man group established itself as the main break of the day as the peloton travelled 152 km to Jabal Al Akhdhar.
But as the 5.7km, 10 per cent climb up Green Mountain to the finish line loomed the main bunch, motored by the BMC and Astana teams, started to reel them in.
As soon as they had been caught the attacks began.
Belgian Hermans, who took the red leader’s jersey on stage 2, made his move stick and he powered up to the line for a fine victory ahead of Italian Fabio Aru of Astana and Portugal’s Rui Costa riding for Team UAE Abu Dhabi.
With one stage left Hermans holds a comfortable 22 second advantage of Costa and 35 over Aru and bar accident should claim the overall victory.