Tough stage today represented last realistic chance for Spaniard to threaten Team Sky rider's lead...

Team Sky’s Chris Froome is set to win the biggest race to date of his career in the Tour of Oman after consolidating his lead by winning today’s penultimate stage despite a strong challenge from Alberto Contador, who had started the day third overall, 25 seconds behind.

Froome prevailed in a three-way sprint finish at the Ministry of Housing in Boshar, with the Saxo-Tinkoff rider second and Katusha’s Joaquin Rodriguez, fifth overall on GC at the start of the stage and 45 seconds off the race lead, placing third.

With a sprinter-friendly stage tomorrow bringing this year's race to a close, today represented the only realistic chance for Contador to try and take the race lead from Froome, who according to David Millar is the only rider the Spaniard truly fears.

There’s a lot of racing between now and the Tour de France starting at the end of June, and early season races aren’t necessarily the best indicator of form, but Froome’s victory today will only reinforce his credentials as one of Contador's chief rivals this summer.

A tough parcours today which included three climbs of the Bousher Alamrat saw attacks throughout, with eight riders getting away early on in the 144km stage from the Al Alam Palace.

Sky had protected Froome on the first of those three ascents, but on the second the peloton was blown apart, leaving a front group of 22 riders as Contador went on the assault again on the second climb.

He was reeled in, but attacked again on the third ascent, and Froome had to dig deep to make it back up to the Spaniard along with Rodriguez. The three remained out front alone on the 12.5km descent to the finish, where Froome proved strongest.

Tour of Oman Stage5 result  
1  FROOME Christopher    SKY PROCYCLING                3h 29' 19"
2  CONTADOR Alberto      TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF              + 00' 00"
3  RODRIGUEZ Joaquin     KATUSHA TEAM                   + 00' 00"
4  IMPEY Daryl           ORICA GREENEDGE                + 00' 04"
5  STYBAR Zdenek         OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP        + 00' 04"
6  NOCENTINI Rinaldo     AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 00' 04"
7  TSCHOPP Johann        IAM CYCLING                    + 00' 04"
8  EVANS Cadel           BMC RACING TEAM                + 00' 04"
9  HERNANDEZ Jesus       TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF              + 00' 04"
10 POZZOVIVO Domenico    AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 00' 08"
11 SOUPE GEOFFREY        FDJ                            + 00' 34"
12 BRESCHEL Matti        TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF              + 00' 34"
13 RATTO Daniele         CANNONDALE                     + 00' 34"
14 GILBERT Philippe      BMC RACING TEAM                + 00' 34"
15 EIJSSEN Yannick       BMC RACING TEAM                + 00' 34"
16 MARCATO Marco         VACANSOLEIL-DCM                + 00' 34"
17 VOSS Paul             TEAM NETAPP-ENDURA             + 00' 34"
18 BOUET Maxime          AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 00' 34"
19 ELMIGER Martin        IAM CYCLING                    + 00' 34"
20 VELITS Peter          OMEGA PHARMA-QUICK STEP        + 00' 34"
Overall standings after Stage 5  
1 FROOME Christopher     SKY PROCYCLING               20h 04' 13"
2 CONTADOR Alberto       TEAM SAXO-TINKOFF              + 00' 27"
3 EVANS Cadel            BMC RACING TEAM                + 00' 39"
4 RODRIGUEZ Joaquin      KATUSHA TEAM                   + 00' 50"
5 NOCENTINI Rinaldo      AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 01' 13"
6 TSCHOPP Johann         IAM CYCLING                    + 01' 13"
7 NIBALI Vincenzo        ASTANA PRO TEAM                + 01' 19"
8 ELISSONDE KENNY        FDJ                            + 01' 34"
9 POZZOVIVO Domenico     AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 01' 44"
10 BOUET Maxime          AG2R LA MONDIALE               + 02' 00"

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.


othello [399 posts] 5 years ago

If this stage and the Vuelta are any guide, the tactic of the top climbers is to attack Froome continually and try and break him. Contador in particular, likes to keep trying the short sharp accelerations against Froome. Going to make a fascinating Tour if they all arrive on form.  4

ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 5 years ago

How come Oman gets to have proper summit finishes, whereas the Tour of Britain refuses to end a stage anywhere where they cannot conveniently bus in the local primary school kids?

bikeandy61 [538 posts] 5 years ago

I suspect that ToB have town or city finishes as the only way that you can get councils to agree to let a race run through their area is if the main town is highlighted with the finish. I think it will be a long time, if ever, before cycle racing in the UK is seen as anything other than a marketing campaign for a council.

Without co-operation from councils racing in the UK is dead. To be fair how many "mountains" in the UK have ski resorts or or near the top that can afford to advertise with a stage finish.

Whereas I think Oman probably see the event as an advert for the whole "country". And you have to remember that places like Oman are perhaps more like states rather than countries in the same way the UK is. IMHO.

mikeprytherch [223 posts] 5 years ago

Well done Chris

Lungsofa74yearold [293 posts] 5 years ago

Sounds like Bertie has come prepared with a good supply of 'steak'!? Plus ca change.:evil:

Mostyn [400 posts] 5 years ago

My Money's on Contador to kick ass in Le-Tour-De-France; that's if he decides to ride it? He may just do the Vuelta?