Just like the first two stages, the third stage starts and finishes by the coast. In fact, similar to stage 1, the riders take a royal spin inland only to turn back on themsevles as they head for Al Bustan.
The starting city of Muscat, with a population of 1.16 million, is the capital of Oman, and along with the riders destination of Al Bustan, is situated on the Arabian Sea along the Gulf of Oman.
The final of today’s race is a duplicate of stage 2 in the 2013 edition, containing two hills in the final 25kms. The riders must first crest the climb of Al Hamriya (156 meter) with 24kms to go and then with just 6.5kms remaining they face the climb of Al Jissah (164 meter). At 2.6kms long and an average gradient of 8%, Al Jissah has the potential to break the bunch and could reveal a lot about who the main challengers will be for overall honours in the race.
Last year the bunch split on that last ascent, with about 50 riders left up front beginning the long descent towards Al Bustan. In the last kilometer Elmiger, Gallopin and Nibali attacked but when Peter Sagan reacted their party was over and there was only one likely winner from that point. The Slovakian passed them and headed for the stage victory with 5 seconds to spare over Gallopin and Elmiger. In doing so he also took hold of the GC lead and the red jersey that goes with that.
The stage starts at 11:45 (GST) and is scheduled to finish at around 15:30.
Tour of Oman 2014 stage 3: Images
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