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!!!
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...
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.
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!!!
Unfortunately another slovakian Peter Sagan finished more then 6 mins after winner.
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.
More pics below... time to get autographs! ;))