Widely tipped as the favourite to take the victory on the stage, 2015 Tour of Flanders winner Kristoff lived up to expectation by taking the stage ahead of Moreno Hofland (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in third.
It’s Kristoff’s fourth victory of the season so far, after he won three stages of the Tour of Qatar.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) finished safely in 10th place to retain the overall race lead.
The remnants of the day’s five-rider escape group were caught within the last 10 kilometres after Dimension Data and Katusha drove the chase to set up a bunch-sprint finish.
Unusually for the Tour of Oman, the stage was punctuated by several heavy rainstorms, causing the riders to cross the line in a state more akin to early-season races in Europe than the Middle East.
The 2016 Tour of Oman continues on Friday with the ‘queen stage’ to Green Mountain, the usually decisive climb that shakes up the general classification. The race concludes on Sunday, February 21.
Tour of Oman 2016, stage three
1. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
2. Moreno Hofland (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
3. Roy Jans (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
4. Mike Teunissen (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
5. Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing
6. Zico Waeytens (Bel) Giant-Alpecin
7. Berden De Vries (Ned) Roompot-Oranje Peloton
8. Robin Stenuit (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9. Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing
10. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data all same time
General classification after stage three
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 4 secs
3. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing at 6 secs
4. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale at 6 secs
5. Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data at 8 secs
6. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 10 secs
7. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 10 secs
8. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r La Mondiale at 10 secs
9. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice at 10 secs
10. Patrick Conrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18 at 16 secs