Vincenzo Nibali, Richie Porte and Tom Dumoulin will be the main favourites for the general clasification in the 7th Tour of Oman. From the 16th to 21st of February they will battle over the 900kms route, which is a considerably more difficult course this year. The “Green Mountain” has never been as high!
In making the Tour of Oman their first serious outing of the year, riders aiming for wins on the biggest races in the weeks and months to come have also chosen to take on a stiff challenge. They will face weather similar to that of European summer conditions; a higher level of competition… and a particularly selective course. This year, the mountainous accent of the Omani race will be more pronounced and seasoned riders will quickly find out. They have already raced to the opening stage finish at Al Bustan, as well as the Al Jissah climb, which precedes it yet again this year. In the race to the win the following day they will face a daunting 2.8km climb at 6.5%, which could blow up the peloton before crossing the finish line at Quriyat, where the general classification will begin to take form.
Sprinters haven’t been forgotten with the finish at Naseem Park, as long as they can recover the considerable energy expended up until then. However, they will be nowhere to be seen at the sharp end of the order of the stage four “Green Mountain” challenge. This ascent has become the test for climbers in the Middle East and it has been made even harder this year with an added 1.8km, bringing the total distance to 7.5km, with an average gradient of 10.7%. The battle for the overall win requires a worthy challenge. And the two days that follow, with circuits that finish in Mascate in front of the Ministry of Tourism, then the Muttrah Corniche, will also test the teams’ abilities to conserve the positions of their leaders, while also offering spectators sensational sprints.
2016 Tour of Oman stages:
Tuesday 16 February, stage 1: Oman Exhibition Center > Al Bustan, 145.5 km
Wednesday 17 February, stage 2: Omantel Head Office > Quriyat, 162 km
Thursday 18 February, stage 3: Al Sawadi Beach > Naseem Park, 176.5 km
Friday 19 February, stage 4: Knowledge Oasis Muscat > Jabal Al Akhdar, 177 km
Saturday 20 February, stage 5: Yiti (Al Sifah) > Ministry of Tourism, 119.5 km
Sunday 21 February, stage 6: The Wave Muscat > Muttrah Corniche, 130.5 km
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2016 green mountain richie porte route Tom dumoulin Tour of Oman Vincenzo Nibali