Oman

Rapido Guide: Tour of Oman Stage 6 Preview

Course:

The final day of 2016’s Tour of Oman should be one for the sprinters yet again, promising a blood and thunder finale poised to be decided by a drag race to the line. A total of 130.5km separate the riders from the start at The Wave Muscat to Matrah Corniche, encompassing two categorised climbs along the way before a rolling section which exits on to the flat final few kilometres.

Oman

Contenders:

Alexander Kristoff will be confident of picking up another early season win here, the Norwegian is in imperious form once again in the Middle East and will surely be the man to beat on Stage 6. Moreno Hofland was not far behind Kristoff a few days ago in the sprint finish and there is no reason to think he cannot at least equal this result with such a strong leadout team in support of him. Jean-Pierre Drucker might not be a pure sprinter, but given the amount of climbing apparent in the later stages of today, he should be considered as a potential podium contender at the very least.

Outcome:

1st Alexander Kristoff 2nd Moreno Hofland 3rd Jean-Pierre Drucker

Oman

Rapido Guide: Stage 5 Tour of Oman Preview

Course:

After the hectic finale of the previous day’s conclusion upon Green Mountain, Stage 5 will offer a chance for the strongmen and puncheurs to steal the limelight back once again and secure glory on the penultimate day of the Tour of Oman. This 119.5km stage features three ascents of Al Amerat, draining the legs of any contender, but the finale itself should be a sprint thanks to a flat affair leading into the finish.

Oman

Contenders:
Greg Van Avermaet is sure to view this as his best chance of taking a win in Oman, his form certainly supporting his claim to Stage 5 honours, while his team support will prove a potent asset when it matters most here. Tom Dumoulin seems to be riding himself into better condition from one day to the next, his prowess against tough climbs has improved tremendously within the last year and it would be foolish to exclude him from contention on Stage 5. Speaking of those who appear to be improving their form day after day in Oman, Edvald Boasson Hagen could be back in the mix once again and take another stage win from the anticipated reduced sprint. 

Outcome:

1st Greg Van Avermaet 2nd Edvald Boasson Hagen 3rd Tom Dumoulin

Oman

Rapido Guide: Tour of Oman Stage 4 Preview

Course:

The decisive Green Mountain finish is included once again at the Tour of Oman, poised to shake up the general classification by the end of day four. The preceding kilometres of this 177km stage are relatively simple enough and will no doubt give the breakaway time to do their thing before being caught around the base of Green Mountain. The ascent is 7.5km in length and has an agonising 10.7% average gradient, but the concluding 4km are what shall break the legs of many here; the roads reaching as high as 13% before the finish line is within view.

Omsn

Contenders:

Domenico Pozzovivo has encouraging form upon this testing climb and looks to be in fantastic condition so far in Oman, the Italian will be a strong contender on a finale which plays to his strengths convincingly so. His AG2R La Mondiale teammate Romain Bardet offers a strong dynamic between the two of them on this crucial stage, perhaps one attacking first in order to allow the other to follow on the coat-tails of their rivals; Bardet will need to be watched for sure. Vincenzo Nibali has given us a small indication of his form so far here and will be all too aware that he only needs a few seconds to secure the leader’s jersey today on stage which is within is abilities to perform upon. Other riders such as Serge PauwelsDan Martin and Jacques Janse van Rensburg are worth keeping an eye upon too.

Outcome:

1st Domenico Pozzovivo 2nd Dan Martin 3rd Romain Bardet

Oman

Rapido Guide: Tour of Oman Stage 3 Preview

Course:

The sprinters should come to the fore on Stage 3 of the Tour of Oman, stealing the limelight back from the puncheurs and climbers who have dominated proceedings up to now in this race. The latter part of the day rolls downwards to the finish at Naseem Park after 176.5km of racing, likely to prove the perfect drag race for the fast men to contest the win.
Oman
Contenders:

Alexander Kristoff is sure to be the man to beat on Stage 2, the Norwegian appearing strong once again at the early part of the season and is surely poised to add to his 2016 tally. Edvald Boasson Hagen’s form has been scintillating so far this year and cannot be discounted from featuring here despite the lack of ideal terrain for the current race leader. Moreno Hofland is certainly a man to watch here as the leadout train at his disposal could rival that of Katusha if everything goes well, though he will really need to be on top form to better Kristoff in the anticipated sprint.

Outcome:

1st Alexander Kristoff 2nd Moreno Hofland 3rd Edvald Boasson Hagen

Oman

Rapido Guide: Tour of Oman Stage 2 Preview

Course:

After yesterday’s impressive move by Bob Jungels secured him a surprise victory, Stage 2 could once again throw up a shock thanks to its undulating finale. A total of 162km from Omantel Head Office to Quriyat will be undertaken by the riders on the second day in Oman, concluding with a 2.8km ascent (avg 6.5%) to a summit finish poised to lure the puncheurs to the fore once again.
Oman Stage 2

Contenders:

BMC worked tirelessly yesterday in an attempt to tee up Greg Van Avermaet for the win, but came unstuck in the wake of Jungels’ perfectly timed attack. The Belgian will wish to rectify this as soon as possible in order to keep him in the race for the overall title and he no doubt possesses the required form to do so right now. Romain Bardet impressed yesterday when securing himself a third place finish and should be in contention for the win on Stage 2 as well; the lithe climber perhaps calling upon his Liége-Bastogne-Liége skills to push for victory here. A man who hinted towards promising condition yesterday was former World Champion Rui Costa, a rider well worth considering against an uphill finish such as this.

Outcome:

1st Romain Bardet 2nd Rui Costa 3rd Greg Van Avermaet

Oman

Rapido Guide: Tour of Oman Stage 1

Course:

The opening stage of 2016’s Tour of Oman should prove to be a lively finish once again, avoiding the lazy cliché of these early Middle Eastern stage races being dull from start to finish. This 145.5km stage’s finale has featured previously in Oman’s schedule and has so far proven to be a difficult outcome to forecast, failing to favour a specific type of rider each year. A tailwind should reduce the chances of the pure sprinters contesting the win, so all eyes are bound to be upon a potent mix of puncheurs and strong classics riders.

Oman

Contenders:

BMC are eager to compete for the win here in Oman and Greg Van Avermaet should be first in line to the lead charge for the American-Swiss outfit in pursuit of the first leader’s jersey. The Belgian was very lively in Qatar, clearly entering this race in strong condition ahead of a tilt at the overall win. Edvald Boasson Hagen shall be a strong adversary though, possessing the sort of skills which make him a danger to Avermaet’s ambitions, the Norwegian being strong enough to force a move late on or dominate a reduced sprint if required. One outside bet worth keeping an eye upon is Gianluca Brambilla, this type of finish suits him nicely and his early season form has been encouraging thus far in 2016.

Outcome:

1st Greg Van Avermaet 2nd Edvald Boasson Hagen 3rd Gianluca Brambilla

Dubai Tour

Rapido Guide: Dubai Tour Stage 4

Course:
Assuming that all goes to plan on the final day of this year’s Dubai Tour, the limelight should once again return upon the shoulders of the sprinters. A 137km finale to this increasingly popular race will see out the four days, a simple enough stage which should produce a frantic finish. With a few roundabouts and tight turns close to the line, there is still enough here to cause a surprise though.

Contenders:
Marcel Kittel looks to be in indomitable form right now and it is hard to see past him for the win on Stage 4. Another man enjoying a great start to the year is Giacomo Nizzolo, though he will have his work cut out in order to get past the powerful German here. His leadouts are certainly inconsistent, but should everything fall into place today for Elia Viviani, he is one of the few with potentially a potent enough turn of speed to beat Kittel.

Outcome:
1st Marcel Kittel 2nd Giacomo Nizzolo 3rd Elia Viviani