Gesink claims Green Mountain win
Rabobank's Robert Gesink claimed an emotional victory on the mountainous fourth stage of the Tour of Oman, in Jabal al Akhdhar.
The Dutchman - who celebrated by pointing to the sky in memory of his father, who died late last year - finished 44 seconds ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and 51 seconds clear of third-placed Dries Devenyns (Quickstep).
The 157-kilometre stage started at a furious pace, with the peloton refusing to allow any early breakaways as the route approached Green Mountain from the North East coast.
HTC-Highroad's race-leader Matt Goss fell out of contention for the stage on the first steep section of the climb, falling behind as a small group - led by Astana's Alexandre Vinokourov - finally emerged from the peloton.
Gesink then made the crucial attack with two kilometres left of lung-busting climbing to go, taking the race-leader's red jersey in the process.
"I did it for my dad," 24-year-old Gesink said. "He had a bike accident the day after last year's Giro dell'Emilia and then two weeks after he died. I had a difficult winter with my family and it was difficult to pick up cycling again, but I did.
"Last month I did everything on my training schedule and a little extra because I wanted to show the world, my family, and my dad first of all that I wanted to continue racing for him. It's nice to do it when you're out here. It's really difficult but it's a really good feeling when it works out."
Stage four results
1. Robert Gesink (NED) Rabobank Cycling Team 4:03:58
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR) Sky Procycling 0:00:47
3. Dries Devenyns (BEL) Quickstep Cycling Team 0:00:51
4. Giovanni Visconti (ITA) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 0:00:53
5. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo
6. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing Team 0:01:02
7. Maxime Monfort (BEL) Leopard Trek 0:01:05
8. Michael Albasini (CHE) HTC-Highroad
9. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (ESP) Sky Procycling 0:01:12
10. Patrik Sinkewitz (DEU) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli 0:01:29