Edvald Boasson Hagen retained his second place in the overall standings at the Tour of Oman by ending the penultimate time trial stage in fifth position.
The Norwegian, who reclaimed the points jersey on Friday with a storming ride up Green Mountain, was the second to last rider to exit the start gate in Al Jissah and battled around the undulating 18.5km loop in 29 minutes 49.38 seconds.
That proved to be 28.55 seconds adrift of the triumphant Robert Gesink (Rabobank), who extended his lead in the general classification to 1min 13sec with one stage remaining.
Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini) and Marco Pinotti (HTC- Highroad) took second and third places respectively on Saturday, with three-time world champion Fabian Cancellara fourth.
Juan Antonio Flecha was Team Sky's next fastest rider in 26th position and that saw him drop two places overall to 11th.
After the stage, sports director Servais Knaven revealed that a rogue TV helicopter had hampered Boasson Hagen's progress in the closing stages but admitted Gesink had deserved his second victory in as many days.
He said: "Edvald posted a good time today, just two seconds back on Cancellara, but it could have been better. At the turning point he was on the same time as Gesink but as he went back up the hill the helicopter swooped down to about 10 metres above him and it was like riding in a hurricane as it followed him.
"All the sand and leaves whipped up and he was right in the middle of it. His bike was wobbling uncontrollably and he almost crashed. That cost him all his speed, and his concentration and cadence were obviously affected as well.
"It could have been a close call otherwise, but that said, Gesink was really strong and Edvald would never have taken 40 seconds off him over the last 8km.
"All in all we're pretty happy, the original goal was for Edvald to finish in the top three and we're well on course to achieve that. He has impressed a lot of people with his performance this week and now we'll keep fighting all the way to the end.
"There could be some wind tomorrow so we'll remain alert and you never know how things might turn out."