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Coming off an incredibly successful Tour of Qatar, where Tom Boonen captured two stages and Niki Terpstra won another and the overall, the Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Tour of Oman — a stage race from February 18th until the 22nd of February. There are chances for the sprinters in stages 1, 2, and 6. However, they do not guarantee a bunch sprint as there are some small climbs to pass. Stage 1 seems to be the most favorable for a sprint finale — only one climb early in the race, and then descending into the flat finish. There are also opportunities for climbers on stages 3, 4 and 5. Stage 5 will perhaps be the deciding factor for the GC. The summit finish is on the 6 kilometer Green Mountain climb, the highest point in Oman. Green Mountain has decided the overall in the past, and will certainly be a point where the race can explode again.
“We have a balanced team for this race, with some riders who can complement the guys who are coming here from a successful Tour of Qatar,” Sport Director Brian Holm said. “Of course, Tour of Oman is completely another race than Tour of Qatar, so what we are able to do here is a bit different. But it is a strong group for sure from Tour of Qatar: Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen, Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, and Stijn Vandenbergh. As for others we added to that group for Tour of Oman, we have guys like Rigoberto Uran Uran. He will do his best try on climbing stages to try and be some type of protagonist. Zdenek Stybar will also be present, as well as Matteo Trentin. Stybar is a guy who is able to do well in support of a guy like Uran on the climbs as he proved this at La Vuelta last year. But, we will see. We will try to be there in the general classification, and maybe win a stage that suits the skills of the riders we have.”