Tour of Oman 2012 Day 5: Muscat (Opera House) to Jabal Akhdar

After victory of Slovakian Peter Sagan of 2nd stage from Sur to Daykah Dam things got interesting - at least personally for me ;) After yesterday's stage Sagan was on 2nd position after Greipel, just 6 secs back and because Greipel is known more as sprinter today's stage was more suitable for Peter Sagan, winner of 2 stages of Vuelta. Go Slovak guuuuuys!!!

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Teams in the shade of Opera House archways

Today's stage started from spectacular marble clad building of Royal Opera. Main pack was lined up under the hot rays of midday sun while some teams still enjoyed cool shade in Opera house archways. Few minutes after 12:00 all was on the move - the loudest support got british team Sky... who knows Why...

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Line up
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Mark Cavendish rolling out on the road
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In the streets of Muscat - Peter Sagan in white jersey protected by his team

We picked our way thru Muscat streets and while cyclists cruised over Crown Plaza beach we managed to get to new Express way before it was closed. Hour and something later we were parked just few meters after Finish line on the steep road up the Jabal Akhdar mountain and got to dialog with P. Sagan's personal masusse - team Liquigas expected either confirmation of Peter's first position in GC or that team will play on Nibali, who is great climber.

Slopes of Green Mountain - Jebel Akhadar
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Slopes of Green Mountain - Jebel Akhadar

Around 16:45 - 3/4 of our behind schedule - they were in sight on lower slopes of Jabal Akhdar - first was rider in green, what meant Nibali of Liquigas was in the front, pursuited by group of 12 riders, which soon was down to 3 riders. Out of this group came Peter Velits (again Slovakian!) and fight was on. The distance between this 2 riders was approximately 30-40 meters and in spite of all effort of P. Velits gap did not close and Velits came just 10 secs after Nibali - which effectively put Peter Velits to overall lead just 1 second before the 2nd position - so as of today Peter V. is in red jersey of leading rider. Another triumph for Slovak colors!!!

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Nibali in front closely followed by Velits
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Few curves up the road - Nibali and Velits - gap is not closing
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50m to Finish
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Nibali (ITA) (Liquigas Cannondale) plowing thru last meters
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Peter Velits (SVK) (Omega Pharma team) wresling his bike into finish 10s after winner Nibali
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3rd: Sandy Casar - FDJ team (FRA)
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Peter Velits few minutes after Finish
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Andy Schleck

Unfortunately another slovakian Peter Sagan finished more then 6 mins after winner.

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Peter Sagan (SVK) looses more then 6 mins

More and more exhausted riders trickled in - their legs stopping to turn just centimeters after Finish line so team helpers were pushing them to team cars. After while riders just grabbed their drinks, changed to dry t's and downhilled to Mirkat Mouze where all circus moved.

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Cancelara in hands of helper
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Big Cav after torturous stage
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It's engraved in stone - Slovak guys rule - Yessss
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Exhausted Boonen

More pics below... time to get autographs! ;))

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Autograph from Sky team
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Autograph from World Champ
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Two happy Slovaks!
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Nibali signing contract with devil
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Just get out and ride Peter Sagan
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Collection will be not complete without A. Schleck's signature
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Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) - winner of stage 5 - certain celebration for Liquigas team
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Peter Velits (SVK) is new leader
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Red Jersey: Velits Peter - Omega Pharma; Red and White Jersey: Lodewijck Klass- BMC; Winner Nibali Vincenzo - Liquigas Cannondale; Green Jersey: GREIPEL Andre - Lotto Belisol; White Jersey: Gallopin Tony- Radioshack Nissan
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Red Jersey: Velits Peter - Omega Pharma; Red and White Jersey: Lodewijck Klass- BMC; Winner Nibali Vincenzo - Liquigas Cannondale; Green Jersey: GREIPEL Andre - Lotto Belisol; White Jersey: Gallopin Tony- Radioshack Nissan
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... and succesfull autograph hunter...
Unternehmensberatung
Unternehmensberatung