Catch up with the action from the opening stage of the Tour of Oman
The 2018 Tour of Oman (February 13-18) will see some of the world’s top riders compete over six stages in the Middle East.
The race, which is a 2.HC event on the UCI Asia Tour, offers a varied parcours with stages for every type of rider, and has therefore attracted some pretty big names.
With at least three of the six stages being for the sprinters, there is a strong field of fastmen, including Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).
However the race overall will likely be decided on the summit finish to Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) on stage five, where Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) are likely to be among the favourites for victory.
Among the other big names on the start list are Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) who will hope to excel on the lumpier stages on the second and fourth days.
The opening stage of the race is undoubtedly one for the sprinters, with the riders covering 163km from Nizwa to Sultan Qaboos University, most of which is either flat or downhill.
This finish was last used in the Tour of Oman in 2013, when Marcel Kittel took victory ahead of David Appollonio and Nacer Bouhanni.
The Tour of Oman continues on Wednesday with a 167.5km hilly stage between Sultan Qaboos University and Al Bustan.