The Tour of Oman returns to the summit of Jebel Akhdar for its queen stage on the penultimate day.
An early season test for riders of all talents, the 2019 edition will feature the Green Mountain finish for the ninth year running.
Taking place from February 16 to 21, the race is expected to attract star riders like Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) and André Greipel with his new Professional Contintental outfit Arkéa Samsic.
Climbers and Grand Tour winners have indeed graced the podium in previous years, and past winners of the race include Vincenzo Nibali and Chris Froome – the latter having taken the win twice, in 2013 and 2014.
Here’s a look at the individual stages of the race:
|Stage 1||February 16||Al Sawadi Beach > Suhar Corniche||138.5km|
|Stage 2||February 17||Royal Cavalry Oman > Al Bustan||156.5km|
|Stage 3||February 18||Shati Al Qurum > Qurayyat||192.5km|
|Stage 4||February 19||Yiti (Al Sifah) > Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre||131km|
|Stage 5||February 120||Sama’il > Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain)||152km|
|Stage 6||February 21||Al Mouj Muscat > Matrah Corniche||135.5km|
The race opens with a sprinters paradise on stage one, over 138.5km from Al Sawadi Beach to a new finish on Suhar Corniche.
Stage one features a 1.3km finishing straight along the seafront, making it a pure test for the lead-out trains to take the first leader’s jersey of the race.
Sprinters will then take a back seat over stages two and three, as Royal Cavalry Oman makes it’s debut on the second day.
A 156.5km run to Al-Bustan on stage two will be familiar territory for attacking riders, with a crunching flurry of climbs, descents and narrow roads characterising the final 30km.
Stage three starts from Shati Al Qurum and is another puncheur’s dream over 192.5km to Qurayyat.
The stage finishes with a 2.8km-long climb at 6.5 per cent, where Sunweb’s Søren Kragh Andersen took victory in 2017.
Day four will see the peloton run from Yiti (Al Sifah) to the Oman Convention and Exhibition Centre, in a 131km stretch that features three runs up the Al-Jabal Street climb before the finish.
The queen stage then follows on day five, 152km from Samayil to the summit of Jabal Al Akhdhar – the Green Mountain.
After 5.7km at 10.5 per cent, the general classification is likely to be settled only when the best reach the summit.
Then on stage six comes an anticipated return for the sprinters, with 135.5km from Al Mouj Muscat to Matrah Corniche.