Tour Of Oman 2016 Cycling Preview
Tour of Oman kicks off for its 7th edition and its a race with its place but a strange regime is still deciding if it wishes to continue past 2016. Lack of live tv coverage holds it back quoted as a cost issue, but most likely a political issue.
6 stages in all with stage 4 most often a key decider in the overall battle. 2 of the last 3 winners won on Green Mountain and the one that didn’t Froome won a tricky stage the next day. 2012 was unusual as Peter Velits grabbed victory and Nibali won Green mountain but race pace seemed easier that year.
Valls is not back as his team have not entered, Tejay 2nd last year does not race here, Porte has been sent. Valverde and Movistar also opt out, with the Spanish economy picking up a few races have taken back their thunder with live tv coverage a big driver for teams.
Last years GC look tells you that it dropped off quiet bit from 4th with less reknowned GC riders getting involved, like Hermans and the ever improving Konrad. Stage 1 and two could break apart, three looks rather strange and likely is for sprinters. Stage 4 is the green mountain stage a big one and its a nice finish. Stage 5 has seen some hill repeats it should break up enough. Just 9 world tour teams have turned out so its not exactly full hog of teams. Green mountain looks to be a little longer this year which makes it all the more interesting.
Porte is the favourite based on how well he looked on his showing in the Tour Down Under. Porte has only ridden this race in 2013 so he will be a little less familiar with the routes and climbs. Nibali has won on Green Mountain before but last year he showed last season sometimes he can ease off in the early season when less concerned. Martin won a stage in Valencia but as an overall rider he has always felt to me like he might have the bad day to cost him. Rui Costa and Bardet are both likely to get involved and are so different in there styles. Dumoulin is here but he is sticking to time trials as his strength for now.
Sepulveda came in sandwiched between Quintana’s in San Luis, could he build on that here. The extended Green mountain should suit Pozzovivo he could live with Porte who we know is not as letehl as Froome can be in past Omans. I much prefer his odds to Martin or Nibali. Sepulveda is a little big that I couldn’t live him alone he looked really good in San Luis. He has always been a rider who I felt has under performed but perhaps with his team harbouring bigger ambitions he can thrive. Last a punt on last years top 10 Konrad to strike a Valls here.
Tour of Oman outright:
.66pts Domenco Pozzovivo 12/1 paddys
.2pts Eduardo Sepulveda 28/1 skybet
.1pts Patrick Konrad 150/1 ladbrokes
1pt Konrad to beat Van Rensburg 2.12 pinnacle
1pt Bardet to beat Rui Costa 6/5 bet365