D-1: The info
February 15 th 2019 - 16:53
The key infos:
- Riders have arrived from all around the World to kick-off the 10th edition of the Tour of Oman with an unprecedented stage on Saturday.
- Alexey Lutsenko, the overall winner in 2018, and Alexander Kristoff, who hasn't missed a single edition, are hungry for more omani success.
- Bryan Coquard, Nacer Bouhanni and André Greipel are ready to battle it out in the sprints.
A colourful 10th edition
Tour of Oman becomes a teenager with a 10th edition mixing the key elements of its past success with new horizons to explore. The first stage will entirely run along the seashore up to the Suhar corniche, a blue wonder the race has never visited. The riders and their followers will then discover, among other beauties, the renowned Royal Cavalry of Oman and the opulent Shati Al Qurum, where the Royal Opera is set. They will explore again the capital Muscat with its many facets, and climb the iconic Jabal Al Akhdar, “Green Mountain”, on the eve of the finish on the shimmering Matrah corniche.
Kristoff, a proper Omani
I have a small competition with Micky Schär, he’s also been there 10 times”, Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) laughed ahead of his tenth participation on the Tour of Oman. “I told him I won’t quit until he does!” Apart from this rivalry, the powerful Norwegian wants to open his victory account for this season and add more success to the 8 stage wins he already claimed in the Sultanate: “There’s a strong field so it won’t be easy but at least I know how to win here, especially on the Matrah corniche. André (Greipel) also knows how to win there but I already have it set on my mind how I want to do this.”
Lutsenko: “We’re here with a very strong team”
Winner of the 2018 Tour of Oman, Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) wats to become the second rider to win the race twice, after Chris Froome did it in 2013 and 2014. The Kazakh champ claimed his ambitions as he came back from two weeks of altitude training in Tenerife: “Winning here last year was awesome. It’s a new season now and this is my first race of the year, I’m very motivated. We’re here with a very strong team, Magnus (Cort Nielsen) and Davide (Ballerini) can try to win stages and I’ll fight for the general classification. The Green Mountain stage will be decisive for the overall victory. Six kilometres, 11%… It’s really hard.”
Sprinters aim for success
Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels) won the first stage last year and he hopes to “do as well this year. I feel more liberated this year because I’ve already won (1 stage of the Étoile de Bessèges).” Among French sprinters, Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) wants to “get into rhythm as the days go by. It’s my seventh participation on a race I really like. We get some good racing under the Sun and I want to come back to Europe with strong legs and good results.” André Greipel has similar ambitions with his new team Arkéa-Samsic: “It won’t be easy because there are not many stage for sprinters but I want to come out of here with a stage win.”
How to follow the race
Images of the Tour of Oman will be broadcasted on TV across five continents and available everywhere through social media. A 26’ daily highlights video will be available in 185 countries, after a new agreement was found with Australian broadcaster SBS. Fans can also turn to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They will receive live updates from the race and enjoy the best videos and pictures from the race to fully live the experience of a unique event.