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820km Tour of Oman set for Feb 11

24 Jan 2023 By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Tour of Oman will return for its 12th edition on February 11 when for the first time in the history of the event, the final stage will lead the riders to the slopes of the iconic Jabal Akhdar, after an ascent of nearly 6km at more than ten per cent gradient. Earlier, all editions ended at Muttrah Corniche.

Additionally, for the first time, a new race will be launched – Muscat Classic – which will be held on the eve of the five-day Tour of Oman on February 10.

‘Thirteen years after the birth of Tour of Oman, the sultanate welcomes a new professional road race to go along the emblematic stage event at the start of the season in the Middle East: the Muscat Classic, stepping into the international calendar as the only 1.1 race organised in Asia,’ organisers stated.

The 173.7km course of Muscat Classic will explore demanding roads from Al Mouj towards Al Bustan, where punchers and sprinters have regularly fought for victory. ‘Peter Sagan, Alexey Lutsenko, Fabian Cancellara and André Greipel are among the stars who already claimed victory on the route. A one-day event, the Muscat Classic can offer new, even more explosive racing dynamics to crown its first champion on February 10.’

The following day, the 820km Tour of Oman will return with the first stage from Rustaq Fort to Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre. The course, favouring sprinters, saw Fernando Gaviria take the first leader’s jersey in 2022, before he achieved another success five days later in Muscat.

Starting from Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex, Stage 2 leads towards Quriyat, where Anthon Charmig displayed his talent in 2022. And the finale will be even tougher the next day (Stage 3), on the irregular slopes of Jabal Haat (4.6km at eight per cent gradient), before another tough finish on the Yiti Hills (Stage 4). On this day, the riders will face the longest stage (195.5km), with two climbs inside the last 10km. ‘After the last summit, there will only be 800m left… The end promises to be thrilling.’

The contenders for victory will have to catch their breath for the decisive stage of Tour of Oman 2023. For the first time, the last finish line is set on the slopes of Jabal Akhdar. ‘Who will emerge as the winner after 5.7km of climbing at an average of 10.5 per cent gradient? The race to succeed last year’s winner Jan Hirt will soon begin,’ stated the organisers.

Nine UCI World Teams have confirmed their participation and the national team of Oman is making its comeback after a successful first in 2022.

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