A new race is born in the Sultanate, the Muscat Classic, on the eve of the 12th edition of the Tour of Oman, featuring 5 stages from 11 to 15 February.
For the first time in the history of the event, the final stage leads the riders to Jabal Al Akhdhar, on the slopes of the iconic “Green Mountain”, after an ascent of nearly 6km at more than 10%.
Nine UCI WorldTeams have confirmed their participation and the national team of Oman is making its comeback after a successful first in 2022.
The best habits can always benefit from exciting novelties. Thirteen years after the birth of the Tour of Oman, the Sultanate welcomes a new professional road race to go along the emblematic stage event at the start of the season in the Middle East: the Muscat Classic, stepping into the international calendar as the only 1.1 race organized in Asia.
On the eve of the 12th Tour of Oman, the course explores demanding roads towards Al Bustan, where punchers and sprinters have regularly fought for victory. Peter Sagan, Alexey Lutsenko, Fabian Cancellara and André Greipel are among the stars who already claimed victory there. A one-day event, the Muscat Classic can offer new, even more explosive racing dynamics to crown its first champion on February 10.
New summits and twists
The following day, the Tour of Oman will return with a first stage from Al Rustaq Fort to Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre. The course, favouring sprinters, saw Fernando Gaviria take the first leader’s jersey in 2022, before he achieved another success five days later in Muscat. This year, the fast men better shine immediately, otherwise they won’t find any terrain suited to their abilities.
The road already rises on stage 2, towards Qurayyat, where Anthon Charmig displayed his talent in 2022. And the finale will be even tougher the next day, on the irregular slopes of Jabal Haat (4.6km at 8%), 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… The end promises to be thrilling.
The contenders for victory will have to catch their breath for the decisive stage of the Tour of Oman 2023. For the first time, the last finish line is set on the slopes of Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain), the iconic ascent in the area. Who will emerge as the winner after 5.7km of climbing at an average of 10.5%? The race to succeed Jan Hirt will soon begin.
9 UCI WorldTeams
The Muscat Classic and the Tour of Oman 2023 bring together 18 teams, including nine from the World Tour (2 more than in 2022). Six teams from the UCI ProTeams division will also be there, including Lotto Dstny, determined to regain their place in the elite after their recent relegation, and Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, who shined on the Tour of Oman 2022 and are now preparing their first participation in the Tour de France. Asian teams JCL Team Ukyo and Terengganu Polygon will also be there.
Champions from all over the world will battle with the national team of Oman, whose riders ignited several moves for their first participation last year. New opportunities to shine await them around Muscat and across the Sultanate, which now hosts two events.
Muscat Classic, 10.2.23:
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 > Quarayyat
Stage 3: Al Khobar > Jabal Haat
Stage 4: Izki > Yitti Hills
Stage 5: Samail “Al Feyhaa Resthouse” > Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain)