Muscat - Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour of Oman for the Astana team on Sunday after Norwegian Alexander Kristoff took the sixth and final stage in a sprint finish.
The Italian, who took second place in Oman four years ago, held on to the overall leader's red jersey 15 seconds ahead of Frenchman Romain Bardet with Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang 24 seconds back.
For Kristoff it was a second stage win of the tour as he edged home ahead of Zico Waeytens and Soren Kragh Andersen.
"I am a lot more experienced now and this time I cycled more intelligently," Nibali said.
"On the most important climb, the Green Mountain, I was able to bide my time and attack at the end.
"We then only had to stay in control of the race over the last two days."
Nibali has already made it clear that his main objective for the year remained the Giro d'Italia.
"The last two years, as I had the Tour at the back of my mind, I opted to keep things quiet early in the season, but it was difficult not being able to express myself completely."
"Everything becomes simpler in organising your season when get off to a good start."
Results and standings on Sunday on the sixth and final stage of the Tour of Oman covering 130.5kms from The Wave Muscat to the Matrah Corniche:
1. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) the 130.5km in 3hrs 01min 18secs, 2. Zico Waeytens (BEL/GIA) same time, 3. Soren Kragh Andersen (DEN/GIA) same time, 4. Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL/LNL) same time, 5. Sam Bennett (IRL/BOA) same time.
Final standings after six stages
1. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) the 914kms in 22hrs 25mins 25secs, 2. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) at 15secs, 3. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) at 24secs, 4. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) at 40secs, 5. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) at 54secs.