Slovakia’s Peter Sagan won the second stage of the Tour of Oman on Tuesday and moved into the overall lead, following a 146km run from Fanja in Bidbid to Al Bustan, close to the Oman Sea. The 23-year-old Cannondale rider broke free from the pack in the final kilometer to finish 9 seconds in front of Frenchman Tony Gallopin, with Swiss rider Martin Elmiger a further two seconds back.
Sagan, the defending Slovakian champion, also won stage two on last year’s race and counts three stages wins to his name on both the Tour de France and Tour of Spain in a career that continues to flourish. Last year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins endured a frustrating start to his challenge during stage one on Monday as he came in last over a minute behind stage winner Marcel Kittel.
The popular British rider was delayed by a pile-up in the last few kilometers of the 162km stage and came in 1:30 adrift of the leaders. However Team Sky are confident they will win an appeal on the basis that according to rules governing crashes, he should be awarded the same time as those riders he was riding within the closing 3km of a stage.
“There was a crash with 2km to go,” said Team Sky’s sports director Nicolas Portal. “Bradley was not caught up in it but he was behind it and there was a little split in the peloton as the riders slowed down. So, with the 3km rule he should be fine.”
The official results still listed the Olympic time-trial champion as 142nd and last before the start of stage two as Team Sky await a decision on their appeal. The six-stage race continues Wednesday with the third stage route over 190km between Nakhal Fort and Wadi Dayqah Dam, which features a profile that will again suit the likes of attacking riders like Sagan.