Oman has confirmed it will make a formal bid to host the 2015 road world championships.
The second edition of the Tour of Oman ends on Sunday, and race organiser Eddy Merckx confirmed that the Arabian country wants to host the world championships. He offered his support and could possibly have a key role in the organisation of the championships.
"Professional cycling is gaining ground fast in the Middle East countries thanks to the strong will of local authorities, and the successes of the Tour of Oman and the Tour of Qatar," said Merckx in a statement.
"I am very confident that Oman will have enough experience by 2015 to flawlessly organise and host the World Championships. Add to that the enthusiasm of the Omani people for professional sporting events and a state-of-the-art local infrastructure, and the event will be a hit."
Other candidates for the 2015 world championships include Quebec in Canada and Richmond, Virginia in the United States. The UCI has indicated that it would like to hold a world championships outside of Europe every five years. In 2010, the world championships were held in Geelong, Australia.
In the statement issued by ASO, the technical organisers of the Tour of Oman on behalf of Merckx's management company, said the UCI will start the evaluation process to select to 2015 world championships host on March 1, 2011.
A decision is likely to be made at this year's world road race championships in Copenhagen in early October.