Sharks, Birds, Cats and Swiss Precision… it was all going on at the races.
Tour of Oman, Stage 4, Knowledge Oasis Muscat to Jabal Al Akhdhar, 177km
Green Mountain was once again the setting for a battle royale between the climbers on the decisive queen stage. Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) attacked first but was hunted down and overwhelmed by Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali with the finish line in sight. Bedhead Bardet hung on for second and found himself in an Astana sandwich on the podium with Jakob Birdsong Fuglsang taking third [Faints with excitement]. Nibbles is the new leader with 15secs on Bedhead secs and 24secs to Birdie, it’s still all to play for as Stage 5 should see another spicy battle.
Volta ao Algarve, Stage 3, Sagres to Sagres, ITT, 18km
Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) continues his buildup to the spring campaign with another powerful win. The Scared Haunches aced the TT by 5secs from Etixx-Quick Step’s Tony Martin with Geraint Thomas (Sky) a further 23secs back. Overnight leader Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) was involved in a nasty crash and had to withdraw from the race. The lead passes to Martin, but with the mountains looming and Thomas only 3secs adrift, he faces a tough battle to keep it.
THIS is why I adore the sport.
I couldn’t find a video, but here are the winning Swiss legs
Ruta del Sol, Stage 3, Monachil to Padul, 157.9km
A lumpy parcours and a tough final 30km thinned the peloton as they hurtled towards the finish. Cool Cat Oscar Gatto (Tinkoff) pounced out from the bunch, crossing the line in front of Ben Swift (Sky) and Roompot-Oranje Peloton’s Raymond Kreder. Higher placings over the three stages means the overall lead switches to Swift, but he shares the same time as 45 other riders.
Header photo: Winner of the day © Muscat Minicipality/Paumer/Kåre Dehlie Thorstad (Tour of Oman website)