Dimension Data's Ben O'Connor is looking forward to trying to do some damage on the upcoming Tour of Oman's 'queen stage' on the penultimate day of the race, which includes a summit finish on the climb of Green Mountain.
The Australian climber – who truly made a name for himself with some impressive performances at last year's Giro d'Italia – will take part in his first Tour of Oman, which starts at Al Sawadi Beach, 60km west of Muscat, on Saturday, and finishes on the Mutrah Corniche in Muscat on February 21.
The Tour of Oman celebrates its 10th edition in 2019, and has become a race at which the spring Classics riders, in particular, come to try to find form in what is typically a fast, flat race, with plenty of bunch sprints on offer. However, there are chances for the climbers, too, with the climb of Green Mountain having been added for the first time for the race's second edition in 2011.
This year, after a flat opening stage, O'Connor should get the chance to warm his climbing legs up a little on the following three days' lumpier parcours, which features climbs of Al Jabal Street and Al Jissah on stage 2, an uphill finish in Qurayyat for stage 3 and three ascents of the Al Jabal Street climb again on stage 4 – although it's the summit finish on the 5.8km-long Green Mountain on Wednesday's fifth stage where the race is likely to be decided.
"My approach to Green Mountain will be to be relaxed and let the legs do the talking," said O'Connor on Dimension Data's website.
"It's a super-steep climb of 10.5 per cent, so you're not going to be able to hide, you're not going to be canny; you've just got to have faith in the training you've done and the ability that you've got before it.
"It's the first mountain-top finish of the year, and my shape over the last two or three weeks has really started to pick up so I'm excited," the 23-year-old said.
"I'm not going to shy away from the fact that I'd love to try to aim for the best young rider's jersey, and then see what kind of placing we can get from there. So yeah, I'm ready to try."