After six days in the pan-flat deserts of Qatar, it is the turn of pro cycling’s elite climbers to soak up some hot weather racing when the Tour of Oman rolls out tomorrow (Tuesday February 18).
Defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) leads an elite field, which also includes back-to-back world number one Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
Former winners Peter Velits (BMC Racing), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Robert Gesink (Belkin) will also take to the start line, as riders bid for form ahead of the WorldTour’s return in March.
A slight reworking of the route for 2014 means the climb of Green Mountain – now set for the penultimate day – will be pivotal, but with a varied parcours awaiting, Oman is set for six enthralling days of racing.
For more details on the course and the contenders, read our preview over the following pages.