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Colbrelli on the hunt for stage wins in Oman

Sprinter Sonny Colbrelli will lead the Bahrain-Merida team's charge at the Tour of Oman, starting this Saturday, while Domenico Pozzovivo will head the squad's overall aspirations.

Fourth place on the second stage to Alicante is Colbrelli's best result so far this season in what's only been five days of racing at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, but the 28-year-old has identified a couple of tougher sprint-stage finishes that should suit him in the Middle East.

"The Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana was a good experience for me; the Spanish race allowed me to get more pace and I'm happy with my condition," Colbrelli said on his team's website.

"In Oman, in addition to the two stages for pure sprinters, there are two stages with a slight uphill finish where I can make a result," he said.

"The Tour of Oman is not an easy race, starting with the first stage that runs along the coast with the threat of the wind, and with the climb of Green Mountain on the penultimate stage," said sports director Alberto Volpi. "But Sonny will have more than one occasion to try to win a stage, while Domenico will aim for the GC."

Pozzovivo will arrive at the race with the Tour Down Under from mid-January as the only racing in his legs – where he finished 14th overall – although he's spent the past fortnight training on the Canary Islands.

"The Tour of Oman is a race that I've always liked, where I've finished in the top 10 several times, with the last time having been in 2016," said Pozzovivo. "After a good training period, I'm ready to give my best, and am hoping to finish as high as possible in the overall classification."

Bahrain-Merida for the 2019 Tour of Oman: Yukiya Arashiro, Sonny Colbrelli, Andrea Garosio, Kristijan Koren ,Antonio Nibali, Domen Novak, Domenico Pozzovivo

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