Tour of Oman 2015 Cycling Preview
The climbers race of the middle east Tour of Oman gets under way on Tuesday and while the lack of live tv coverage is always a draw back its terrain makes for interesting racing. Stage 4 has the usual Green Mountain finish while Stage 5 has a hill on its finishing laps. The climbs are hard enough to blow it apart but it will likely come down to brave attack that sticks or a good sprint.
With two stages to break things up it does complicate the race a little and winning on Green Mountain might not be enough. After a tricky 2014 and with riders holding it back a little longer than past seasons there will be no certainity in the performance of some of this field.
Valverde, Rodriguez and Nibali are the top 3 in the market and I am avoiding all three. Both Nibali and Rodriguez look like they will be holding back a little. Valverde carried a little illness amd while he is sharp with victories already this season he is beatable.
Leopold Konig comes in ready to go with top 5s in both his races in the season warm ups. He comes with the hunger in his first year at Sky and he has won against quality fields on his best days so can do so here. TVG has previous here and loves week long racing but with reports of Majka flying he also tempts both at a touch of double figures. Pinot also comes in tuned up and its interesting see how he puts up here.
Arredondo is the best climber but a dnf in Colombia means he likely won’t match the best on these smaller climbs. Barguil opens his season with Alpecin but how fit will he be, they also have young talent Carter Jones lining up here. Worth noting both Cofidis and Etixx seem to have gone with focus on sprint trains and not the hills. Strangely Rui Costa comes here over his home race the field is surely too strong for him to put his stamp on the race. Watch Meintjes for MTN he comes in with a good start to the season in lesser races and he has big upside. Frank leads IAM only 36th in this last year he should surely improve. Blythe and Bennett are two other notable teams with a team built to focus on stage hunting.
The 16/1 with skybet tempts me enough to side a stake on Majka. With Konig filling the Froome role I really have faith that the rider we saw last season will only get better. Pinot has an outside chance but is by far the best value in his price range.
Tour of Oman outright winner:
.75pts Leopold Konig 16/1 bet365
.4pts Thibaut Pinot 33/1 bet365
.6pts Rafael Majka 16/1 skybet
Tour of Oman match bets:
2pts Majka to beat Kruziger 1/2 bet365 (2pts top up 1.46 pinnacle)
2pts Konig to beat Barguil 4/7 bet365 (1.5pts top up 1.63 pinnacle)
1pt Meintjes to beat Konrad, Costa to beat Arredondo and Pinot to eat Frank 17/10 bet365