Al Bustane - Swiss veteran Fabian Cancellara, riding for Trek, won the second stage of the Tour of Oman, and also took the overall lead, following a 195.5km ride from Al Hazm Castle to Al Bustan on Wednesday.
The former Olympic and world champion, nicknamed 'Spartacus', managed to keep with the leading group until the final two minor climbs before launching a sprint that left Spaniard Alejandro Valverde in second and Greg Van Avermaet of Belgium settling for third spot.
Cancellara, 33, who has won eight stages on the Tour de France between 2004 and 2012 and was a regular wearer of the yellow jersey, takes the leader's red tunic, after a scorching hot day, and a four second lead over Valverde into Thursday's third stage.
Austrian Patrick Konrad, is third in the rankings and five seconds back, as the peloton now look ahead to stage three and a 158km run that begins and finishes at the Al Mussanah Sports City, bordering the Sea of Oman.
Results from the second stage of the Tour of Oman, a 195.5km ride from Al Hazm Castle to Al Bustan, on Wednesday:
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/Trek) 4hr 36min 46sec, 2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) s.t., 3. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) s.t., 4. Filippo Pozzato (ITA/LAM) s.t., 5. Peter Sagan (SVK/TCS) s.t., 6. Julian Arredondo (COL/TFR) s.t., 7. Rafal Majka (POL/TCS) s.t., 8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (ESP/KAT) s.t., 9. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) s.t., 10. Cameron Mayer (AUS/OGE) s.t.
44. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 46, 47. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 55, 92. Thibaut Pinot 4:59.
Overall (after two of six stages)
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI/TFR) 8hr 22min 14sec, 2. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) at 04sec, 3. Patrick Konrad (AUT/BOA) 5, 4. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/BMC) 6, 5. Peter Sagan (SVK/TCS) 10, 6. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 10, 7. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 10, 8. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (ESP/KAT) 10, 9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 10, 10. Julian Arredondo (COL/TFR) 10
20. Tom Boonen (BEL/EQS) 50, 28. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 56, 45. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 1:05, 48. Leopold Konig (CZE/SKY) 1:25, 92. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/FDJ) 5:09