Final Tour of Oman podium (l-r): Giovanni Visconti, 3rd; Robert Gesink, 1st; Edvald Boasson Hagen, 2nd.
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ASO announced 11 World Tour squads to Middle Eastern stage race
Race organiser ASO has released the list teams that will participate in the upcoming Tour of Oman. From February 14-19, a total of 16 teams will battle it out in the Category 2.1 stage race, which is part of the UCI Asia Tour calendar.
Once again, the majority of teams announced are WorldTour teams: 11 top level squads are expected in the Sultanate of Oman, including all three American WorldTour teams (BMC, Garmin-Barracuda and RadioShack-Nissan) as well as new Australian outfit GreenEdge and British Sky.
The full list of participating teams is as follows:
BMC Racing Team, Bridgestone Anchor Pro Cycling Team, Champion System, Farnese Neri Cycling Team, FDJ-BigMat, Garmin-Barracuda, Greenedge Cycling Team, Katusha Team, Liquigas-Cannondale, Lotto-Belisol Team, Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team, Project 1t4i, Rabobank, Radioshack-Nissan, RTS Racing team and Sky Pro Cycling.
While all-rounders and sprinters will be in their element on the roads that run along the Gulf of Oman coast, puncheurs and climbers will also be able to showcase their talents on the country's steep terrain. The stage at Jabal Al Akhdar (the Green Mountain) with a final climb of 5.8 km at an average gradient of 10.3 percent, reaching up to 13.5 percent over the last two kilometres, will be one of the highlights of the third edition of the Tour of Oman. Last year's event was won by Rabobank's Robert Gesink.
The route details are:
Stage 1: February 14: Al Alam Palace - Wadi Al Huwqayn (159 km)
Stage 2: February 15: Sur - Wadi Dayqah Dam (140.5 km)
Stage 3: February 16: Al Awabi (Al Alya) - Bank Muscat HQ (144.5 km)
Stage 4: February 17: Bidbid (Nafa'a) - Al Wadi al Kabir (142.5 km)
Stage 5: February 18: Royal Opera House - Jabal Al Akhdhar / Green Mountain (158 km)
Stage 6: February 19: Al Khawd - Matrah Corniche (130.5 km)