Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali of the Liquigas team won the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman following a grueling climb to the summit of the Green Mountain on Saturday. The 27-year-old attacked four kilometers from the line following a tough 6km climb, finishing 10 seconds ahead of Slovak Peter Velits who took the leader’s red jersey from Germany’s Andre Greipel.
France’s Sandy Casar finished third at 25sec after the 158km stage. Velits has a slim one-second lead on Nibali in the overall standings with France’s Tony Gallopin 17-seconds off the pace going into Sunday’s sixth and final stage over 130km from Al Khawd to Matrah Corniche.
“It’s liberating after a long wait,” said 2010 Tour of Spain winner Nibali who has not achieved a win since the Trophee Melina in August 2010. I had to push myself to the limit. I attacked very strong on a steep climb. I gave everything I had in my belly. I never looked over my shoulder.”
“This gives me a lot of confidence,” added the 27-year-old who finished third in last year’s Giro d’Italia.