AL-Bustan - Belgian Ben Hermans is the new leader of the
Tour of Oman after winning Wednesday's 145km second stage.
The 30-year-old surprised a group of stage favourites with a
late attack on a steep climb to the finish in Al Bustan, with Portugal's Rui
Costa second and Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark third.
Hermans was supposed to be helping his BMC team leader and
compatriot Greg Van Avermaet, the Olympic champion, but jumped on his
opportunity to claim victory.
"Greg was supposed to contest the sprint finish whereas
me, I had a free role, in particular marking Romain Bardet. I tried my luck at
the best moment 150 metres from the line," said Hermans, who succeeded
Norway's Alexander Kristoff, winner of Tuesday's opening stage, as race leader.
Van Abermaet finished ninth with Bardet, second behind Chris Froome at last year's Tour de France, 10th.
All the favourites for overall victory, including Italy's
seventh-placed Fabio Aru, winner of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana, finished in the
Thursday's 162km third stage is a hilly run from Sultan Qaboos University to Quriyat.