Organisers ASO have re-worked the route again for this year’s race, which may reduce the impact Green Mountain has on the final destination of the red jersey.
Similar to the 2013 route, the stage to Green Mountain is now stage four while stage five is an undulating stage on a circuit which passes the Ministry of Housing.
Froome sealed his red jersey on the former last year and on the latter the year before, which shows the race will not necessarily be won on the race’s iconic climb.
Book-ended by two stages for the fast men, where Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) will arrive as favourite thanks to his Qatar hat-trick, the race features six days in all with a mixed bag awaiting.
Undulating finishes at Al Bustan, on stage two, and the Ministry of Housing on stage five will offer the likes of four-time stage winner Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), former champion Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and MTN-Qhubeka new boy Edvald Boasson Hagen, twice an overall runner-up with Team Sky in this race, something to think about.
Stages one, three and six are for the sprinters – should they avoid any trouble with the wind – and stage five boasts the Jabal Al Akhdhar summit finish.
More commonly known as the Green Mountain, Nibali, Froome and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) are among the former winners at its peak, which is reached via a 5.7km ascent at an average gradient of five per cent.
Whoever leads after stage four will fancy their chances of claiming the overall, but the hilly circuit of stage five will offer the chance to claw back seconds if it is tight at the top after the previous day.