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Cycling: Untimely break ruins Hagen dash as Sky see lead evaporate

Team Sky's domination of the Tour of Oman came to an abrupt halt yesterday when their leader Edvald Boasson Hagen stopped briefly mid-race to answer a call of nature – and rival teams promptly attacked.

An epic 50km pursuit of a lead pack of 41 riders by Boasson Hagen and his Sky team-mates then ensued, but the Norwegian was still over a minute back at the finish. Australian Leigh Howard punched well above his weight by taking the bunch sprint, with Britain's Roger Hammond in fourth, but Boasson Hagen's 42nd place saw him drop to 34th overall.

Some Sky riders were inwardly seething at an attack on the race leader they considered to breach cycling's unwritten rules.