MUSCAT: Muscat Classic, a new professional road race, will add to the excitement for cycling enthusiasts on the eve of the 12th edition of the Tour of Oman, featuring five stages from February 11 to 15.
In another first for the 2023 edition, the final stage leads the riders to Al Jabal Al Akhdhar, on the slopes of the iconic ‘Green Mountain’, after an ascent of nearly 6km at more than 10 per cent gradient.
Nine UCI World Teams have confirmed their participation and the national team of Oman will return to action after their debut in 2022, according to the organisers.
The Muscat Classic has joined the international calendar as the only 1.1 race organised in Asia. The riders will have to tackle the course that explores demanding roads towards Al Bustan during the one-day event on February 10.
Peter Sagan, Alexey Lutsenko, Fabian Cancellara and Andre Greipel are among some cycling superstars who had already won the honours at the course.
On February 11, the Tour of Oman Stage 1 will run from Al Rustaq Fort to Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. Fernando Gaviria took the first leader's jersey at the sprint-friendly course in 2022.
Stage 2 is in Qurayat, where Anthon Charmig displayed his talent in 2022. The irregular slopes of Jabal Haat (4.6km at 8%) hosts the third stage, before another tough finish on the Yitti hills (stage 4). On this day, the riders will face the longest stage (195.5km), with two climbs inside the last 10 kilometres. After the last summit, there will only be 800 metres left.
GREEN MOUNTAIN STAGE
The decisive stage of the Tour of Oman 2023 is set on the slopes of Al Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), the iconic ascent in the area. The winner needs to climb 5.7km at an average of 10.5% to succeed last edition champion Jan Hirt.
9 UCI World Teams
The Muscat Classic and the Tour of Oman 2023 bring together 18 teams, including nine from the World Tour, which is two more than in 2022.
Six teams from the UCI Pro Teams division will join the action. Recently-relegated Lotto Dstny will be keen to regain their place in the elite while Uno-X Pro Cycling Team will look to repeat their 2022 show at the Tour of Oman.
Al Mouj Muscat > Al Bustan
2023 stages Tour of Oman:
Stage 1: Al Rustaq Fort > Oman Convention & Exhibition Center (OCEC)
Stage 2: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex > Qurayat
Stage 3: Al Khobar > Jabal Haat
Stage 4: Izki > Yitti Hills
Stage 5: Samayil ‘Al Feyhaa Resthouse’ >Al Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain)
18 teams selected
9 UCI WorldTeams:
AG2R Citroen Team
UAE Team Emirates
6 UCI Pro Teams:
Equipo Kern Pharma
Human Powered Health
Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
2 Continental Teams:
JCL Team Ukyo
Oman National Team