Muscat Classic & Tour of Oman : "tough climbs and hilly roads"
A new race added to the UCI calendar, the Muscat Classic features a succession of climbs in the last few kilometers that are favorable to the puncheurs. The next day will see the start of the Tour of Oman, a stage race that favors puncheurs and climbers.
“The profile and the course of the Muscat Classic reminds me of a stage I already raced in the Tour of Oman. The big novelty is the one-day race format which can make it more aggressive. The efforts will be intense, from 3 to 4 minutes, in the decisive climbs. We will have to be able to develop high powers to be in the game and acclimatize well to the hot temperatures of Oman”.
“The weather in Oman is a trick for me as I enjoy the heat. The Tour of Oman will also be my first race as a protected rider in my new team: I’m looking forward to proving that I can handle this role and to repay the trust that has been placed in me. We will have a great team for this hilly and difficult course: many summit finishes or climbs near the finish that should make the selection in the peloton”.
“The Muscat Classic will be a discovery for the whole peloton. The course has a tough final loop with many short but steep climbs. This can favor a dynamic scenario and will set the tone before the Tour of Oman that will start the next day. In this sense, Cristián Rodríguez, Michel Ries, Nicolas Edet or even Anthony Delaplace can do well on this kind of course.
Contrary to previous years, the Tour of Oman has fewer finishes for the sprinters and much more for the puncher-climbers. Our team will be centered around Cristián Rodríguez who appreciates these profiles as well as the expected weather conditions. However, we have the chance to have several cards depending on the physiognomy of each stage. For David Dekker, this will be his first race as a designated sprinter. He has shown in the past that he is comfortable in the early season races in the Middle East and will be able to rely on Jenthe Biermans at his side, who has already shown great things in the early season.”