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by Shane Stokes
February 17, 2018
Cort wins stage 4 of the Tour of Oman; Modolo wins stage 3 of the Vuelta a Andalucia/Ruta del Sol; Thomas wins stage three TT at Volta ao Algarve; Dennis eyeing TT victory in upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour; Tour de Suisse and Strade Bianche name wild cards for 2018 events; OVO Energy announces two year backing of the Women’s Tour, Tour of Britain and the Tour Series; Craven leaving Israel Cycling Academy, announces next team; Western Australian Road Safety Commission’s safety campaign dropped after cyclists’ criticism; Factor updates the ONE: Faster, stiffer and with brake options; Video: Sa Calobra (Coll dels Reis) with Fränk Schleck – Cycling Inspiration & Education; Video: Best landscapes – Stage 4 – Tour of Oman 2018; Photo: Keeping it in the family…
Magnus Cort Nielsen (Astana Pro Team) was quickest out of a select group sprint on stage four of the Tour of Oman on Friday, beating Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Alberto Bettiol (BMC Racing Team) and 18 others to the line at the Ministry of Tourism. Thursday’s stage winner and overnight race leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) was fourth and retains his position atop the GC.
“I am so happy with this win,” said the Dane, who opened up the sprint and continued to gain ground on his rivals all the way to the line. “I want to thank all team for a great support today, especially Alexey Lutsenko, who did an amazing job in the last kilometre. He was so strong, pulling in front, keeping the second group far behind and leading me out for the sprint! I felt quite good today and in the sprint I gave my best to take this win.”
Cort had impressed in last week’s Dubai Tour but lost out due to his placing prior to the start of the sprints. He finished second overall and is clearly in superb form. “I am happy with my win, but also with the way I’ve started my debut season for Astana Pro Team.”
The stage from Yiti was just 117.5km in length, and saw an early attack from the race’s most aggressive rider Loïc Chetout (Cofidis). Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors) and Pieter Weening (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) joined him but couldn’t build a gap of more than two and a half minutes.
Van Rensburg went clear on the second of three ascents of Al Jabal Street, and was subsequently joined by Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo). The latter pushed on alone but was hauled back, leading to the select group sprint.