Tour of Oman (st. 4)
Movistar Team takes 3rd atop Green Mountain, keeps the front in Tour of Oman with two days to go. Valls (LAM) surges to take over red jersey
Alejandro Valverde and the Movistar Team showed commitment on Friday during the Queen stage of the Tour of Oman, finishing atop the Green Mountain -6km at above 10% average- after another hot day with strong headwinds, which added hardness to the decisive climb.
After working hard during the second part of the course alongside Trek, Astana and BMC, the riders from the telephone squad left ahead Valverde, who tried to defend himself from all attacks to conserve a virtual red jersey on his shoulders following Cancellara's (TFR) dropping. However, a late acceleration from Valls (LAM, 1st) and Van Garderen (BMC, 2nd) avoided the Spaniard contesting the win, 'Bala' still bringing his usual, final kick to reach Majka (TCS) down and cross the line in 3rd spot, 19" back.
The Blue leader also becomes third in the overall, at an identical 19", before Saturday's decider, with four climbs to Bousher El Amerat set to act as showdown leading to the finish in the Ministry of Housing (152km).