Video: Top 5 riders to watch at the Tour of Oman

Defending champion's absence creates wide-open race

The sixth edition of the Tour of Oman (2.HC) starts Tuesday with a field packed full of Grand Tour contenders and general classification hopefuls.

Team Sky's Chris Froome, who won the race in 2013 and 2014, has chosen to face off this year with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the Vuelta a Andalucia instead of trying for his third successive win in Oman, leaving a run for the race's red leader's jersey wide open. And there is no shortage of riders ready to make a run at the overall.

The 18-team field features 13 WorldTour teams, including Astana, BMC, Tinkoff-Saxo, Team Katusha, Movistar, FDJ, Trek Factory racing, Team Sky, Giant-Alpecin, Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida, Orica-GreenEdge and IAM Cycling. In the video below, Cyclingnews' Sadhbh O'Shea handicaps the top riders to watch.

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