Marcel Kittel of Argos Shimano, winner of two stages in last year's Tour of Oman, has won the opening stage of thsi year's race as the fourth edition got under way today. The 24-year-old German took the bunch sprint ahead of AG2R new recruit David Appollonio and French champion Nacer Bouhanni of FDJ.
Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, in his first race since the surgery on an infected elbow that forced him to miss last week's Tour of Qatar and thereby disrupted his preparations to defend his titles at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, finished fifth.
Today's 162 kilometre stage from Al Musannah to Sultan Qaboos University was always virtually certain to end in a bunch sprint, despite a two man breakaway comprising Champion System rider Bobbie Traksel of CSS and Kohei Uchima of the Japan composite team getting away early on.
At one point they had a gap of nearly 10 minutes, but with Argos-Shimano among the teams working hard to ensure the stage came down to a bunch finish, Traksel sat up with around 30km to go and Uchima was caught with around 14km left to ride.
Tour of Oman Stage 1 result 1 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 4h 04' 59" 2 APPOLLONIO Davide AG2R LA MONDIALE All at same time 3 BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ 4 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM 5 BOONEN Tom OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP 6 PHINNEY Taylor BMC RACING TEAM 7 FORTIN Filippo BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX 8 GODDAERT Kristof IAM CYCLING 9 VIVIANI Elia CANNONDALE 10 GUARNIERI Jacopo ASTANA PRO TEAM 11 VAN HUMMEL Kenny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 12 DELLE STELLE Christian BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX 13 VAN POPPEL Danny VACANSOLEIL-DCM 14 DOWNING Russell TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA 15 COLEDAN Marco BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX 16 VAN POPPEL Boy VACANSOLEIL-DCM 17 BONNET William FDJ 18 NISHITANI Taiji JAPAN 19 FRIEDEMANN Matthias CHAMPION SYSTEM 20 VANDENBERGH Stijn OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP Overall standings after Stage 5 1 KITTEL Marcel TEAM ARGOS-SHIMANO 4h 04' 49" 2 APPOLLONIO Davide AG2R LA MONDIALE + 00' 04" 3 TRAKSEL Bobbie CHAMPION SYSTEM + 00' 04" 4 BOUHANNI Nacer FDJ + 00' 06" 5 ROLLIN Dominique FDJ + 00' 09" 6 COLBRELLI Sonny BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX + 00' 09" 7 KRISTOFF Alexander KATUSHA TEAM + 00' 10" 8 BOONEN Tom OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 00' 10" 9 PHINNEY Taylor BMC RACING TEAM + 00' 10" 10 FORTIN Filippo BARDIANI VALVOLE-CSF INOX + 00' 10"