Bad weather forced the cancellation of Saturday’s fifth stage of the Tour of Oman.

The organisers took the decision after the riders came to a halt shortly after the start of the stage which had already been shortened because of a sandstorm.

“On account of the weather conditions and for safety reasons the stage has been cancelled,” the organisers said.

Several riders remarked how dangerous the conditions were.

“Four riders had already punctured on the descent,” said French sprint specialist Nacer Bouhanni.

“It would only take one rider to fall to bring another 50 down.”

Spaniard Rafael Valls leads the overall standings having won the feature stage of the race, the climb to the Green Mountain, on Friday.

American Tejay van Garderen is second, 19 seconds adrift with two stages remaining.

The race finishes on Sunday with a 133.5km run from Oman Air to Muttrah Promenade.  – Agence France-Presse

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