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Lotto Belisol: Preview Tour of Oman

The main part of the Lotto Belisol selection that contested the Tour of Qatar has travelled on to Oman. From tomorrow until Sunday the six days race Tour of Oman, part of the Asia Tour, will be ridden there. Kris Boeckmans and Jonas Van Genechten returned home, while Tony Gallopin and Jurgen Van den Broeck left from Europe to complete the team. At the start are also GC riders Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodriguez. Just like Tom Boonen, Nacer Bouhanni, Alexander Kristoff and Peter Sagan.

The Tour of Oman is definitely not as flat as the race in Qatar. In stage four the riders have to cover the Bousher Alamrat hill four times. The finish line lies 13 kilometers further than the last top. It goes in descending line to the arrival. A day later the stage to the Green Mountain is programmed, with its 1235 meters it’s the highest mountain in Oman. There is no time trial in Oman. The sprinters will be able to have a go, for example in the final stage to Matrah Corniche. There’s a time difference of three hours between Oman and Belgium. Finishes are expected between 12:30 and 13:30 CET.

Bart Leysen, sports director: “André Greipel, who won a stage in the Tour of Qatar, also aims for a victory in the Tour of Oman. Tony Gallopin wants to get a good GC here and he is also able to win a stage. We certainly have some candidates in the team for a stage win. Taking one stage win is our first goal and then we take a look at the GC.”

“The big difference with Qatar is the wind, so the race will be less nervous. Also the course is different. The stages aren’t too hard, but there are some feisty climbs. We didn’t have that in Qatar. In Oman the roads are smaller, while in Qatar one has to race a lot on highways with four lanes.”

Selection Lotto Belisol: Lars Bak, Gert Dockx, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Pim Ligthart, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg and Jurgen Van den Broeck.
Sports director: Bart Leysen

Stage 1: Tuesday 18th of February: As Suwayq Castle – Naseem Garden (164,5 km)
Stage 2: Wednesday 19th of February: Al Bustan – Quriyat (139 km)
Stage 3: Thursday 20th of February: Bank Muscat – Al Bustan (145 km)
Stage 4: Friday 21st of February: Wadi Al Abiyad – Ministry of Housing (Boshar) (173 km)
Stage 5: Saturday 22nd of February: Bidbid – Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) (147,5 km)
Stage 6: Sunday 23rd of February: As Sifah – Matrah Corniche (146,5 km)

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