Using their national tour as a platform, Oman announced on Saturday their candidature to host the 2015 UCI Road Cycling World Championships.
The Middle Eastern country's bid will go up against those of Canada and the USA, from where bids have been received for Quebec and Richmond, Virginia, respectively.
Eddy Merckx, currently at the Tour of Oman in his role as the promoter of the week-long stage race, expressed his support for the sultanate's bid.
"Professional cycling is gaining ground fast in the Middle East thanks to the strong will of local authorities, and the success of the Tour of Oman and the Tour of Qatar," said Merckx. "I am very confident that Oman will have enough experience by 2015 to flawlessly organise and host the World Championship.
"Add to that the enthusiasm of the Omani people for professional sporting events and a state-of-the-art local infrastructure," Merckx continued, "and the event will be a hit."
The three host candidates' bids will be officially assessed by the UCI in March.
Tour of Oman 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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