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Sky’s Chris Froome second on stage with Cadel Evans third as big guns come to the fore

Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez has won Stage 4 of the Tour of Oman, with Team Sky’s Chris Froome second and the new overall leader of the race, and BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans third on the stage and second overall 24 seconds back on Froome. Alberto Contador of Saxo-Tinkoff finished fourth today, ahead of Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali, Contador now lies in third place overall one second behind Cadel Evans.

The final climb, which always looked likely to be decisive for determining the winner of this year’s fourth edition of the race, saw a flurry of attacks, the winning one coming from Rodriguez inside the final kilometre of the
162.5km stage from Al Saltiyah In Samail - Froome though was the rider most able to limit his losses against the Spaniard and he reaped the reward for it.

The Spaniard’s victory comes as it is revealed that his Katusha team will learn tomorrow the result of its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding the decision late last year of the UCI’s Licence Commission not to award it a WorldTour licence for the 2013 season. Currently, Katusha is registered as a Professional Continental Team.

The day’s break, comprising five riders including Gregory Rast of RadioShack Leopard and BMC Racing’s Brent Brookwalter, had an advantage of just 1 minute as they hit the start of the final 10km climb, but were quickly overhauled by the group containing the men who would fight it out for the stage victory.

Tour of Oman Stage 4 result  
  
1  RODRIGUEZ  Joaquin   KATUSHA TEAM           3h 34' 48"
2  FROOME Christopher   SKY PROCYCLING          + 00' 04"
3  EVANS Cadel          BMC RACING TEAM         + 00' 22"
4  CONTADOR Alberto     TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF       + 00' 27"
5  NIBALI Vincenzo      ASTANA PRO TEAM         + 00' 35"
6  ELISSONDE KENNY      FDJ                     + 00' 43"
7  TSCHOPP Johann       IAM CYCLING             + 00' 52"
8  NOCENTINI Rinaldo    AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 00' 57"
9  JEANNESSON Arnold    FDJ                     + 01' 01"
10 EIJSSEN Yannick      BMC RACING TEAM         + 01' 09"
11 BOUET Maxime         AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 01' 09"
12 POZZOVIVO Domenico   AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 01' 12"
13 CUMMINGS Stephen     BMC RACING TEAM         + 01' 18"
14 VOSS Paul            TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA      + 01' 30"
15 BUSCHE Matthew       RADIOSHACK LEOPARD      + 01' 40"
16 IMPEY Daryl          ORICA GREENEDGE         + 01' 40"
17 SOUPE GEOFFREY       FDJ                     + 01' 52"
18 SCHÄR Michael        BMC RACING TEAM         + 01' 54"
19 STYBAR Zdenek        OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP + 01' 54"
20 ELMIGER Martin       IAM CYCLING + 01' 54"
  
Overall standings after Stage 4  
  
1  FROOME Christopher   SKY PROCYCLING        16h 35' 05"
2  EVANS Cadel          BMC RACING TEAM         + 00' 24"
3  CONTADOR Alberto     TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF       + 00' 25"
4  NIBALI Vincenzo      ASTANA PRO TEAM         + 00' 34"
5  RODRIGUEZ Joaquin    KATUSHA TEAM            + 00' 45"
6  ELISSONDE KENNY      FDJ                     + 00' 49"
7  NOCENTINI Rinaldo    AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 00' 58"
8  TSCHOPP Johann       IAM CYCLING             + 00' 58"
9  BOUET Maxime         AG2R LA MONDIALE        + 01' 15"
10 JEANNESSON Arnold    FDJ                     + 01' 23"

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.