Following the Tour of Qatar, many top teams will head to the inaugural Tour of Oman, a UCI Category 2.1 event that is part of the UCI Asia Tour.
The Tour of Oman consists of five road stages and a final 18km individual time trial from Feb. 14-19. It’s an alternative to the more establish Volta au Algarve in Portugal (also cat. 2.1), which runs Feb. 17-21. The Oman race is organized by Amaury Sport Organization, which also runs the Tour de France and the Tour of Qatar.
HTC-Columbia is one of the first squads to announce its full roster for Oman. The team is bringing in time trial specialist Marco Pinotti for the race.
“The time trial being on the last stage will shape events a lot,” said HTC-Columbia’s Bernhard Eisel. “The teams, like us, with time trial specialists will try to control the race so they get to that last day in a good position.”
“It’s probably not going to be such a nervous race as Qatar, although it’s hillier too, so it won’t be straightforward.
HTC-Columbia for Tour of Oman:
Lars Bak (Den); Gert Dockx (Bel); Bernhard Eisel (Aut); Adam Hansen (Aus); Leigh Howard (Aus); Marco Pinotti (Ita); Martin Velits (Svk).