Oman attracts the best

news17.02.2014Pre-race

© ASO/B.Bade

In just under five years, the Tour of Oman has become a major meeting point for the best riders in the World. Not only will it, again, attract the biggest names in cycling, it will also have to offer outstanding landscapes and the best possible stages for what promises to be an exciting show of endurance, courage and speed. Part of the annual Muscat Festival, the Tour of Oman 2014, which starts tomorrow, really is the place to be on the World cycling calendar.

Not only is Oman an amazing country to visit in terms of visual beauties and hospitality, the sultanate has also become a place that attracts the biggest names of cycling and several candidates to Tour de France glory. From the 18th to the 23rd of February, the riders will witness the ideal conditions Oman has to offer. No, the Tour of Oman is not some exotic race on the yearly calendar! The event, for the fifth year running, will host the best specialists not only of stage races, but also some of the greatest Classics' contenders. "The Tour of Oman is such an amazing example of what potential and willpower together can achieve in such a short space of time. The line-up for the event this year is simply outstanding. It is all thanks to the willingness of the Omani authorities and the incredible reception of the Omani people", explains Race organiser and cycling legend Eddy Merckx.

Indeed during six stages all types of riders will have an opportunity to shine. Sprinters like André Greipel, winner of six stages on the Tour de France, looks to be the man to beat on day 1, when the riders will take off from the As Suwayq Castle, hosting the event for the very first time, and will head to Naseem Garden where a bunched finish is expected. Stage 3 could also suit strong men like rising star Peter Sagan or former World Champion Philippe Gilbert as they battle it out on the climbs of Al Hamriya and Al Jissah before finishing at Al Bustan. And it should also be just as spectacular when the big guns in contention for overall victory will fight for glory on days 4 and 5 as the road heads up.

Last year, the stage including three climbs up to Bousher Alamrat, finishing at the Ministry of Housing, was one of the most spectacular in terms of sports. Good news, it'll again be on the course of this 2014 Tour of Oman. That was were Chris Froome started building his path to glory in Oman, several months before triumphing on the Tour de France's 100th edition.

In recent history, the name Jabal Al Akhdhar has become a reference in World cycling. That was, were Giro d'Italia 2013 winner, Vincenzo Nibali conquered his first stage success here, back in 2012. A year later it was Joaquin Rodriguez turn to triumph as the UCI World number one became the king of the “Green Mountain”. This extremely steep climb should again prove to be decisive on the 5th edition.

The picturesque Matrah Corniche will be the final showdown for the pack of the Tour. Traditionally, it finishes in a bunched sprint but one question remains. Who will be wearing the overall winner's Red Jersey on that special day?

A fantastic show that the world will be able to witness via TV and social networks. Indeed the daily highlights show in High Definition will be broadcasted in 180 countries and five continents. A daily 2' video clip will also be available on www.letour.fr and www.tourofoman.om. The cycling fans around the world can also follow live coverage of the race on Twitter (@tourofoman_live, #tourofoman) and extensive information, videos and pics on facebook (facebook.com/tourofoman) and instagram (instagram.com/tourofoman).

The news in pictures

photo17/02/2014 

© ASO/B.Bade

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Jersey wearers after the stage 6

Classifications after the stage 6

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