MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman is set for a cycling spectacle with the Muscat Classic race on Friday which will be followed by Tour of Oman 2024 from Saturday and will run until February 14 with the participation of 17 teams of seven riders representing well-known teams from Asia, Australia, Europe and the US.
“It is a great opportunity to welcome everyone in Muscat including the participating teams around the world, the international and domestic media, ASO team and the race officials. The technical team delivered their level best to choose the proper routes that reflect the challenge of the race, diversity of the topography and show the beauty of our beloved country Oman,” Chairman of Oman Cycling Association (OCA) Said al Rashdi said during a press conference to unveil the Tour of Oman and Muscat Classic event.
The second edition of the Muscat Classic will kick off on Friday on a 174.3-km course. The one-day Muscat Classic event will be organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth in coordination with Oman Cycling Association (OCA) and many government and private entities. The race will start from Al Mouj Muscat and will finish in Al Bustan. As many as 17 teams will take part in the race including Oman international team.
“The Sultanate of Oman is ideal place for the cycling events. Our country has a strong and right infrastructure that enables the riders to compete for the top places. The technicality of Tour of Oman and Muscat Classic race drew the attention of the best cyclists around the world to take part in these both events. Muscat Classic is a new race that normally begins ahead of Tour of Oman. Special thanks to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and particularly to HH Sayyid Theyazin bin Haitham al Said for his support to renew the contract with the organising company of the race (ASO) and the assistance from the under-secretary besides the other government entities,“ the OCA chief added.
Yann Le Moenner, CEO of ASO, affirmed that the 13th edition of Tour of Oman is entering a new era. “This is an extension to our tight partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and the OCA. We are super happy to be here in Oman. One of the main purposes for this event is to develop the cycling sports in the Sultanate of Oman. Another advantage from this year’s race we will see the national cycling team for the third time. Last year, Oman’s cyclists went to France for an intensive training camp. They had trained and took part in some advanced competitive races to improve and get better,” he said.
The chief of ASO affirmed that this is the best way to discover the country on the cycles. “Oman is a great cycling destination. The main goal is to be here to strengthen and inspire young athletes for the future.”
Later, the local and international media saw some best moments from 2023 through visual show during the press meet.
Franck Perque, Director of Tour of Oman, said that the technical team of the race came in Oman during October and November. “As part of the technical preparations for the Tour of Oman, we came to Oman last October and beginning of November to design the routes. We managed to check all the selected routes. In the first week of February, the technical team completed the set-up of the route before one week of the event’s start,” he added.
“The Tour of Oman is a key point in the professional calendar of the cycling events as all the international riders are interested to take part in this world class cycling event. Oman’s routes with beautiful landscape have many climbs and this is really good for the riders. Furthermore, the weather is great in the country nowadays and temperature very suitable for the riders to come and take part in the event," he concluded.
The top ranking cyclists will compete for four jerseys including the red jersey which is for general individual time classification while green jersey for general points classification. White jersey is for best young rider classification and golden jersey for the most aggressive rider classification.