It was a difficult day to call, yesterday. It looked like a stage that might favour a classics rider or a sprinter, but in the end the sprinters were there at the end to contest it. Well, some of them. Cavendish and Kittel lost a few minutes and Denis Galimzyanov was almost dead last, but Greipel and Sagan were still in the mix at the shakedown and the big Belgian took another win to consolidate his overall lead.
Difficult stage to call or not, it was a day for big scores, with the top guys in the jersey competitions also filling the podium on the day. On a day where 259 points was the theoretical maximum, team 62 SPLITTIE FUND managed a massive 237, taking them not only to the top of the stage league but also the high score table, and up an impressive 46 places to 11th in the Tour of Oman.
So it's STEVESPRO 79 who nets the stage prize of a Green Oil Eco Rider kit. There's no change at the top of the competition league: Team Flahutes are still ruling the roost with 747 points, ahead of Team Mikaela on 719. It's not a done deal yet though, by any stretch.
If there's one thing we've learned so far, it's that alexlnumber1 is the king of the early season purists. He's walked away with both completed competitions so far, and on a day where plenty of people cracked and made tranfers he's kept the faith. Team To be pure or not to be pure, that is the question are sharing first place with team HTFU Pro Cycling, both on 610 points.
Today's stage is a real summit finish, and the first chance for the climbers to hit the front on the Arabian peninsula. Will the likes of Sagan and Greipel be able to hang on to keep their hopes alive in the GC? We'll see...
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.