Mark Cavendish will make his first appearance of the year at the 11th edition of the Tour of Oman, which will be held from February 10 to 15.
“Our stint in the Middle East continues between February 10-15 with the Tour of Oman, which is back on the calendar after a two-year hiatus”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Klaas Lodewyck.
The most successful active rider in the peloton, with 156 wins to his name, Mark Cavendish of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 2022, a cycling team from Belgium, will start his fifth season with the Wolfpack at the Tour of Oman.
The Sultanate of Oman and its unique landscape have offered spectacular racing since cycling icon Fabian Cancellara became the first overall winner in 2010.
For its much-anticipated return following two years of cancellation, 18 teams from four continents will be heading to the Sultanate of Oman, including seven WorldTeams, nine ProTeams and one Continental Team.
Also, for the first time in the history of the race, the Oman National Team will participate, granting a select team of local riders the opportunity to race against some of the strongest squads in the world.
Tour de France winners Christopher Froome and Vincenzo Nibali also feature in a star-studded list of winners, and the Kazakh star Alexey Lutsenko took the last two editions.
Joining him for the team’s second outing of the year in the Middle East will be the experienced Iljo Keisse, Il Lombardia runner-up Fausto Masnada, Mauro Schmid, Stijn Steels, as well as neo-pros Stan Van Tricht and Ethan Vernon.
The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider is part of the seven-man squad for the multi-day cycle tour in the Middle East.
“The Tour of Oman has a beautiful course. In the bunch of sprints, we try to do something with Mark. And if possible, we want to compete with Fausto for a good classification. We are going to the Sultanate of Oman with a solid team”, says Lodewyck.
The 36-year-old Cavendish has recovered sufficiently from his injuries sustained during the Six Days of Ghent. Last year he had a serious crash in November during the closing team race of the Six Days of Ghent. He suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung. After a good rehabilitation, the British sprinter is now ready to race again.
In the Tour of Oman, Cavendish hopes to get back to sprinting. His employer is also counting on Iljo Keisse, Fausto Masnada, newcomer Mauro Schmid, Stijn Steels and neopros Stan Van Tricht and Ethan Vernon in the six-day round.
“We will try to be in the mix with Mark in the bunch sprints, and if possible, do something with Fausto in the general classification. He has just returned from a training camp and is motivated to kick off his season. Overall, we go there with a solid team, capable of getting some good results”, said Lodewyck.