The Tour Of Oman kicks off Monday with 6 Stages, unlike Qatar this will see more up and downs as the region is known for having the highest point in the Middle East.
Tour of Oman 2013: Stages
Stage 1, Monday 11 February, Al Musannah to Sultan Qaboos University, 162km
Stage 2, Tuesday 12 February, Fanja in Bidbid to Al Bustan, 146km
Stage 3, Wednesday 13 February, Nakhal Fort to Wadi Dayqah Dam, 190km
Stage 4, Thursday 14 February, Al Saltiyah in Samail to Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), 152.5km
Stage 5, Friday 15 February, Al Alam Palace to Ministry of Housing in Bosha, 144km
Stage 6, Saturday 16 February, Hawit Nagam Parkto Matrah Corniche, 144km
Stage 1 sees a little climbing but any fit sprinters should make the finish. Stage 2 sees lesser climbing but with both short climbs coming at the end we could see it break up. Stage 3 like the first has an early climb but then flattens out likely one for the sprinters. Stage 4 will be the killer, the climb of Green Moutain upto 1235m this will be were the race is decided, expect time gaps. Stage 5 looks like a good stage to see some breaks in the field it is by the looks the second hardest stage and one teams falling behind might look make a move. Stage 6 rounds up the week with a simple finish.
Outright Betting :
Their is no doubting a good climber will be the winner of this, they do not need to be a pure climber but without the time trial it really only gives them a small window for gaining time before the main MTF stage.
Alberton Contador is favourite for this event and theirs no doubting his quality haven proven he can race all year round. Contador won stage 6 and was 4th, contador has always raced well from off last time he races this early in year he won the tour of Algarve beating whole host of talent. Vincenzo Nibali lost out to Peter Velits here last year so is a regarded contender to go well again. He won the all important Green Mountain finish ahead of Velits. Chris Froome has been nominated leader in a strong sky team with Wiggins saying that this is part of his training block rather than winning. Wiggins likely wont win but like last year in Portugal, even when wiggins riders for other hes often still around at the business end.
J.Rodriguez the twice podium man in grand tours last season also races here and he is versatile which may be useful here. He was a 7th here last year without killing himself, he will likely use this to tune up. Peter Velits comes to defend his title he goes well early in year, but looked slightly off pace down under a repeat showing would be an ask of the slovak rider. Pozzovivo has now moved to Ag2r for mix of money and being guaranteed the races he wants to race. He was 8th in the Giro last year failing to hold form over 3 weeks, he has racing in the legs from a one day race but perhaps the climb isn’t testing enough for him to come into his own.
Jeannesson came 5th on the main stage last year and is one at bigger prices to keep an eye out for. Porte will continue to provide strong support and he won Algrave last year but without a tt he surely cant assert his dominance on this strong field. Cadel Evans is likely to come in poor shape with his main target once again for much later in the year.
Contador looks a strong pick he gets off to good starts, he was a winner of Algrave in 2009 and 2010, and just off when his drug ban ruled out his results in 2011, he then won the next race after that in 2011 stricken from record. he also started strong in 2008 just losing by 8secd in Murcia before winning Leon after that.
4pts Contador to win the tour of Oman 15/8 paddyContador has the attacking skills to win the outright
Outright match ups:
2pts Jeannesson to beat Pozzovivo 13/10 bet365 2.33 pinnacle
1pt Froome to beat Rodriguez 1.952 pinnacle
2pts Jeannesson to beat Gallopin 17/20 sportingbet (3/5 now)
1pts Sagan to beat Gilbert 17/20 sportingbet
2pts J.Rodriguez to beat Pozzovivo 5/7 sportingbet
3pts Porte to beat Nocentini 10/11 betvictor