Former Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali won Friday’s fourth stage to take the race leader’s red jersey of the Tour of Oman.

The Italian Astana rider claimed victory by nine seconds over Frenchman Romain Bardet in the 180km ‘Green Mountain’ stage from Knowledge Oasis Muscat to the climb of Jabal al-Akhdhar.

In the overall standings, Nibali has a 15sec lead on Bardet with two stages remaining.

The Italian, who also won on Jabal al-Akhdhar in 2012, said: “The first time was completely different because I attacked from the foot. Today I had to keep my nerve and wait until the end.”

Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark, Nibali’s team-mate, was third while previous race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen, the Norwegian, finished 10th, 1min 10secs behind the stage winner.

Saturday’s penultimate fifth stage is a shorter 119.5km ride from Yiti to the Ministry of Tourism. – Agence France-Presse

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