The info with one day to go

February 8 th 2024 - 18:49 [GMT + 4]

Riders from all around the world have arrived in the Sultanate, where they get ready to tackle the 2nd edition of the Muscat Classic (February 9) and the 13th of the Tour of Oman (February 10-14). “It’s the first big test of the year”, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) anticipates with lots of climbing and Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) on the horizon. Sprinters such as Caleb Ewan, Fabio Jakobsen and Alexander Kristoff want to make the most of their rare opportunities in the Sultanate.

08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day -
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - © A.S.O./Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - YATES Adam (UAE Team Emirates)
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - YATES Adam (UAE Team Emirates) © A.S.O./Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - KRISTOFF Alexander (Uno-X Mobility)
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - KRISTOFF Alexander (Uno-X Mobility) © A.S.O./Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet

“We work to attract the best riders in the Sultanate, with a challenging race that also shows the diversity of the topography of Oman”, said Saif Bin Subaa Al Rushaidi, President of the Oman Cycling Association, explained on Thursday in a press conference introducing the coming days of racing to the local and international media. “Oman is a key destination for professional cycling and we are very happy to bring the expertise of the Tour de France, in close collaboration with the national federation”, added Yann Le Moenner, CEO of Amaury Sport Organisation. Race director Franck Perque then described the challenges ahead of the riders. First, “the Muscat Classic will set a punchy tone with very steep climbs”. Then, “the five stages of the Tour of Oman represent a total of 867.4 kilometres, with a lot of climbing.” The finishes at Qurayyat, Eastern Mountain and Yitti Hills already delivered exhilarating racing ahead of the final battle up Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), “the jewel of the stages”, as Saif Bin Subaa Al Rushaidi describes it.

A podium finisher in the Tour de France, with high ambitions for 2024, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) anticipates his return to action with his first participation in the Tour of Oman. “I’ve just come straight down from altitude”, the British climber explains. “I’ve been training really well in Sierra Nevada so I hope the hard work pays off. For sure I’m missing a little bit of race pace but that’s what I come here to do and the parcours looks really good for me. There’s not just one big mountain stage, even the early stages have steep gradients. And Green Mountain is gonna be the first big test of the year. It’s a really hard climb but one that suits me, on paper. We should have a good week and I hope to come out with good sensations and feelings.”

There are a plenty of climbers and puncheurs to try and challenge Yates and his strong collective (Ulissi, Fisher-Black…). And come can count on their successful experience in the Tour of Oman to try and chase more success. “This is where I got my first professional win so of course it means a lot to me and I’m really looking forward to racing, especially stage 2 in Quarayyat”, Anthon Charmig (Astana Qazaqstan) smiles. “It’s a lot of explosive climbing, already in the Muscat Classic, and a win would be a great way to start off with my new team.” Also a winner in Qurayyat, Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) describes the Tour of Oman as “a hard race, with short very steep climbs and another longer steep climb, Green Mountain. The profiles are suited to my characteristics as a rider.” Warren Barguil (DSM-Firmenich PostNL) is also happy with the amount of climbing: “It’s a beautiful course, much harder than when I did it in 2015. That means we’ll have some climbing in the legs before we head to Green Mountain, which will change things. It’s a very hard climb, different to what we’re used to in Europe.”

The climbs didn’t deter the sprinters, with a strong field mostly eyeing stage 1 of the Tour of Oman. “I’m enjoying a beautiful country”, Fabio Jakobsen says with a smile before laying his ambitions with his new DSM-Firmenich PostNL outfit: “We’ll go all in to win it. The data says I’m ready. My feeling also says I’m quite close to how good I can be. So I look forward to this new start.” Caleb Ewan also sports a new kit, with Jayco-AlUla. “It’s really important to seize this opportunity but we are a whole bunch of sprinters eyeing the same stage”, the Australian says. He will vie with experts of the Tour of Oman such as Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) - “I’ve won here, I have great memories, it’s always a pleasure to return and we’ll try to get a victory, on the flat or on some punchier courses” - and Alexander Kristoff (Uno-X), who holds the record for most stage wins in the Tour of Oman (9). “Ten would be a good number”, the Norwegian says. “The first two days are my best opportunities, with the Muscat Classic and stage 1 of the Tour of Oman. But the Muscat Classic is really hard.”

The field of sprinters is widened by two youngsters from a team used to triumphing in fast finales: USA’s Luke Lamperti (21 years old) and France’s Paul Magnier (19). “We had a really good start of the year together in Mallorca [Magnier won the Trofeo Ses Salines-Felanitx with Lamperti 3rd] and we already raced together last year at Trinity, so obviously we already had a connexion”, the young American explains. “For sure, you always want to have nice results, you always want to prove yourself, especially when you’re young.” Where should we expect them to shine? “The stages are quite hard”, Magnier observes. “Tomorrow, if I feel strong, it can work already. And stage 1 will also be a focus for Luke or me, we don’t know yet. It really depends on the sensations during the race.”

Fans from all around the world will be able to follow the action and enjoy the best images of the Muscat Classic and the Tour of Oman. Footage of the races will be available in 190 territories through 53 TV/Digital broadcasters with daily highlights and full race highlights. The race also benefits from an innovative live 4G/5G broadcast produced by Oman TV with the support of ASO. All the action and the best images will be available on social media with live coverage on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day -  Group pictures
08/02/2024 - Tour of Oman 2024 - Media Day - Group pictures © A.S.O./Oman Cycling Association/Pauline Ballet

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