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Andersen stuns favorites to take Oman stage

Denmark's Kragh Soren Andersen, right, from Team Sunweb takes the lead in the last hill ahead of ahead of UAE Abu Dhabi's Portugese cyclist Rui Costa, center, and BMC's Belgian Ben Hermans from BMC, left, before Andersen won the 3rd stage of the cycling Tour of Oman between Sultan Qaboos University and Quriyat on Thursday in Quriyat. (AFP)
QUIRAYAT, Oman: Denmark’s Soren Kragh Andersen won the third stage of the Tour of Oman on Thursday as Belgian Ben Hermans retained the overall lead.
Andersen edged out former world champion Rui Costa on the uphill finish at Quriyat at the end of the 162km run, with Hermans, winner of Wednesday’s second stage, in third.
Other contenders for the overall victory including Frenchman Romain Bardet, second at last year’s Tour de France, and 2015 Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru of Italy, finished in the top 10 in the same time as Andersen.
Friday’s fourth stage is a hilly 118km that finishes on the flat but the overall winner should be decided on Saturday’s Queen stage with it’s finish on The Green Mountain, a 5.7km climb with an average 10.5 percent gradient.

Pinot wins Andalusia second stage, Contador in overall lead
French rider Thibaut Pinot won the second stage of the Tour of Andalusia on Thursday ahead of Alberto Contador, but the Spaniard is now the overall race leader.
Pinot, of the FDJ team, crossed the line first at the summit finish at Pena del Aguila above Mancha Real, beating Contador by two seconds, with Alejandro Valverde seven seconds off the pace.
Contador had attacked less than three kilometers from the end of the 178km stage from Torredonjimeno but Pinot overtook the former Tour de France winner with just 200 meters left.
Nevertheless, Contador seizes the red jersey ahead of Friday’s third stage, an 11.9km time-trial in Lucena.
The Tour finishes in Coin following Sunday’s fifth and final stage.