Mark Cavendish will make his first appearance of the year at the 11th edition of the race.

Our stint in the Middle East continues between 10-15 February with the Tour of Oman, which is back on the calendar after a two-year hiatus. Created in 2012, the race offers a mixed terrain, with a bit of everything for everyone, although the return of the gruelling Jabal al Akhdar (5.7km, 10.5%) ascent together with the punchy finish of Qurayyat (2.8, 6.5%) means that the general classification will be again an affair between climbers.

The most successful active rider in the peloton, with 156 wins to his name, Mark Cavendish will start his fifth season with the Wolfpack at the Tour of Oman, where back in 2011 he took a victory, on the Matrah Seafront, which will now host the finish of the last stage. It will be the Manxman’s first outing for the Wolfpack since last October’s Münsterland Giro, where he notched up the win that put him into double-digits at the end of a remarkable season.

Joining him for the team’s second outing of the year in the Middle East will be the experienced Iljo Keisse, Il Lombardia runner-up Fausto Masnada, Mauro Schmid, Stijn Steels, as well as neo-pros Stan Van Tricht and Ethan Vernon.

“The Tour of Oman is back and comes with a nice course, with many stage finishes already used at many of the previous editions. We will try to be in the mix with Mark in the bunch sprints, and if possible, do something with Fausto in the general classification. He has just returned from a training camp and is motivated to kick off his season. Overall, we go there with a solid team, capable of getting some good results”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Klaas Lodewyck.


Photo credit: ©Wout Beel

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