Christopher Froome did more than enough to take the race lead in the first race featuring the top GC racers. The Tour of Oman has become the first roll call of GC contenders, with Nibali, Froome, Wiggins, Rodriguez, Evans and others. The sharp climbs and warm weather are a welcome test outside of dreary Europe, and for those looking to Paris-Nice, Tierrno-Adriatico and the Giro, they offer excellent chances to test the legs and fitness ahead of a long season.
On Stage Four, the tough climb of Green Mountain offered the first playground for the climbers, almost immediately dropping double-stage winner and race leader Peter Sagan. Contador made the first move, and the second, accelerating hard but never holding a large gap. Rodriguez had the killer kick, with Froome staying the closest, and Evans and Contador coming through shortly behind. There are more test to come, and even the Giro is a very long ways off, but Froome’s climbing is proving to be one of the best of the season so far.
Wiggins is well back, though he seems content working for Froome, even carrying bottles for the team as he builds for the Giro. It will be very interesting to see if he’s given any lee-way to get in a breakaway as the race goes on, though he’ll certainly have a lot of work on his hands to help defend Froome’s lead.