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Chris Froome (Sky) celebrates Tour of Oman victory.
18 teams to take part
Tour of Oman organisers have announced the route for the fifth edition of the race and the 18 teams that will take part.
The 2014 parcours will feature one summit finish, two medium mountain stages and three sprint stages.
On the penultimate day, the riders will face the summit finish of Jabal Al Akhdhar, for the fourth year running, where Joaquim Rodríguez won last year. The queen stage, along with the previous day’s stage to the Ministry of housing will play a crucial role in deciding the winner of the general classification.
There will be an extra opportunity for the pure sprinters to take victory, with an additional flat finish on the second day.
The team of defending champion Chris Froome (Sky) will return to the race, along with 12 other WorldTour teams. Giant-Shimano isn’t among the list of teams. However, Belkin and Lotto-Belisol will make the journey to Oman, after missing out last year.
Five Pro Continental teams are also on the list, including the American squad UnitedHealthcare, who will start the race for the first time.
Last year’s race was won by Chris Froome, ahead of Alberto Contador and Cadel Evans.
2014 Tour of Oman
Stage 1: Tuesday, February 18: As Suwayq Castle – Naseem Garden, 164.5 km
Stage 2: Wednesday, February 19: Al Bustan – Qurayyat, 139 km
Stage 3: Thursday, February 20: Bank Muscat – Al Bustan, 145 km
Stage 4: Friday, February 21: Wadi Al Abiyad – Ministry of Housing, 173 km
Stage 5: Saturday, February 22: Bidbid – Jebel Akhdar / Green Mountain, 147.5 km
Stage 6: Sunday, February 23: As Sifah – Matrah Corniche, 146.5 km
Teams for Tour of Oman: Ag2r La Mondiale, Astana, Bardiani CSF, Belkin, BMC, Cannondale, FDJ.fr, IAM Cycling, Katusha Team, Lotto Belisol, Omega Pharma – Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge, NetApp – Endura, Sky, Tinkoff Saxo, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Trek Factory Racing, UnitedHealthcare.