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Professional Cycling => Road Races => Topic started by: t-72 on February 12, 2018, 22:39

Title: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 12, 2018, 22:39
Oman is reportedly the Switzerland of the Arabian Peninsula. That's a title reflecting, amongst other things, the presence of mountains. Not very high, not everywhere – but some of them are quite high and the key point of Tour of Oman, the Jebel al Akhdar or Green mountain has a summit of some 2100 meters about 70 km from the shore. It is early in the season, and there are plenty of vertical meters on offer, given  the calendar date.

Tour of Oman is of course different from the Dubai tour in this aspect, and that is reflected in the participants list. Some sprinters are replaced  by  riders targeting the Ardennes' hilly classics and a few GC riders aiming for the grand tours.  Kristoff and Nibali are the exceptions to this pattern of pick-and-mix, an  as faras I know , they aim to ride the complete «Tour of the Sandbox» with Dubai, Oman, Abu Dabi linked – almost a complete Grand Tour equivalent in three weeks.
(Note sandbox is not a derogatory term here, at least not when I use it. I started studying sand in kindergarten and I now I am a professional..)

Participating teams and some key riders
#bmc Van Avermaet, Bettiol, Drucker
#uae Kristoff, Costa
#bahrain Nibali, Bozic
#astana Lopez, Cort Nielsen
#didata Cavendish,
#sunweb Søren Kragh Andersen
#cofidis Bouhanni, Herrada
#trek Felline, Nizzolo
#quickstep no-one, or all of them (?)
#vital Coquard, Reza
#katusha Haas, Planckaert (?)
#topsport ?
#fortuneo ?
#wanty Eiking
#aquablue Blythe, Pedersen
#roompot Weening, Wippert
#cajarural Ferrari
#rally McNulty

Stage 1: (Tuesday, Feb 13) Nizwa – Sultan Qaboos  University, 163 km
(https://i.imgur.com/mdErSz1.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/dSFNwyp.jpg)
Flat and «easy» profile: Cavendish Coquard, (I always told you  :angel) takes it.Watch out for Bouhanni, Cort Nielsen, Nizzolo

Stage 2: (Wednesday, Feb 14) Sultan Qaboos University – Al Bustan, 168 km
Stage 3: (Thursday, Feb 15) German University of Technology – Way Dayqah Dam, 180 km
Stage 4: (Friday, Feb 16) Yiti (Al Sifah) – Ministry of tourism,  118 km.
Stage 5: (Saturday, Feb 17) Samai'l – Jabal Al Akhdar, 152 km
Stage 6: (Sunday , Feb 18) Al Mouj Muscat – Matrah Corniche, 136 km.

(preview of following stages are further down in the thread!)



or will be posted there...as soon as I am done (working on it!)
STAGE 2 up now (scroll down)!


Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Leadbelly on February 13, 2018, 08:38
https://twitter.com/TeamSunweb/status/963330066364149760

Maxime Farazijn (Sport Vlaanderen - Baloise), Pierre Luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) and Brian Van Goethem (Roomport - Nederlandse Loterij) be the break.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 13, 2018, 13:21
Le Coq Sportif!
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 13, 2018, 19:20
Yes, #vital Bryan Coquard made a mess out of my predictions (small consolation, #didata Cavendish came in 2nd)
Vital Concept Cycling Club scores their 1st ever win, I believe?

That's worth a little celebration (video in twitter link below):
https://twitter.com/VitalConcept_CC/status/963462110050246656

Most of the field finished on s.t. but there are some stragglers at the bottom of the list including some of the riders I put up as interesting.




Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 13, 2018, 19:51
Stage 2: (Wednesday, Feb 14) Sultan Qaboos University – Al Bustan, 168 km

Map
(https://i.imgur.com/02x2FZJ.jpg)

Profile
(https://i.imgur.com/xnrNfMc.jpg)

As y'all can see here this stage has a harder finish  featuring a steep climb . This is where I thought the Coq Sportif would be at an advantage. Or, rather - one thing I think I know, is that this is not a #didata Mark Cavendish stage. However, there are a few others here in the category of "sprinters that can climb" and then there are some "climbers that can sprint", and depending on how the race plays out, they may all come into contention here. The stage doesn't look that hard, does it?

However, for Coquard to beat Cavendish in a flat sprint on an easy day out? That guy gotta be in shape, so I will try to jinx it once again:

*** #vital Bryan Coquard
** #astana Magnus Cort Nielsen, #bmc Greg van Avermaet
* #uae Aleksander Kristoff,  #cofidis Nacer Bohanni, #katusha Nathan Haas

Looking at last year's results - maybe I am underestimating this stage. The top 10 was basically filled up with GC riders with (then) #didata Nathan Haas and #bmc Greg van Avermaett being the only ones from my list making it to the the top 10. However, last year's starting list was more GC dominated and this year it is more classics riders. That may change the racing style a bit.



Oh -- maybe I should add this guy after all, then  :angel
* #wanty Odd Christian Eiking  :cool
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: killswitch on February 13, 2018, 19:56

Vital Concept Cycling Club scores their 1st ever win, I believe?


Actually 2nd win, Julien Morice won the ITT at the Sharjah Tour.

https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/sharjah-international-cycling-tour/2018/stage-1
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 13, 2018, 20:05
Feltet has Soren Kragh Anderson as the favourite, plus Felline.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Leadbelly on February 13, 2018, 20:05
Greipel has won on the Al Bustan finish, but there must have been a headwind in play on that day. In more recent years it's definitely been one for the GC guys or strong classic riders.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 13, 2018, 20:46
Stage, results stage 2 (I see some other posts where it does not display right.)



14 riders in ST group (same time as stage winner) today, and almost all are the usual suspects. In addition there are #wanty riders Odd Christian Eiking and .... Fabien Doubey! This smells of breakthrough. I have no idea who he is, there are a few top 30 results in 2.2 races and such, and now, here he is, finishing ST as stage winner in a group with Nibali and van Avermaet.  Surely this year's big surprise performance so far.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 13, 2018, 20:58
Stage 3: (Thursday, Feb 15) German University of Technology – Way Dayqah Dam, 180 km

Map
(https://i.imgur.com/ajO6j8t.jpg)

Profile
(https://i.imgur.com/Nd4NJgl.jpg)

Last year's results:
(but the finish is different this time, looks much easier)

Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 13, 2018, 20:59
Feltet has Soren Kragh Anderson as the favourite, plus Felline.

Feltet is danish   :P
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 13, 2018, 21:29
Feltet is danish   :P

They’re surprisingly accurate in their predictions though. Generally.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: search on February 13, 2018, 21:36
Looking at last year's results - maybe I am underestimating this stage. The top 10 was basically filled up with GC riders

last year the stage was altered and finished on the climb

(http://i.imgur.com/s55tDIW.png)

back to normal this year, by the look of it
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 14, 2018, 12:03
Costa and Boswell the biggest losers today, 38” behind the lead group of favourites.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: search on February 14, 2018, 12:05
first (and last?) time ever I get to hear about Boswell's result before knowing the stage winner. For whatever reason... :D

Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 14, 2018, 14:19
first (and last?) time ever I get to hear about Boswell's result before knowing the stage winner. For whatever reason... :D



Mega spoiler.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 14, 2018, 21:40
Round up of stage 2...how did the predictions go?
Søren Kragh Andersen tried to put himself in the break, but had a puncture and ended up at the back of the bunch, finishing 3rd last at 13 minutes something down. Seems like he doesn't feel in shape yet, even if the course might not be too hard for him. (The Kragh-Andersens have dominated the hilly Sandnes stage of Tour des Fjord which has ha similar sharp climb behore the finish) .

With regards to my guess:
Bryan Coquard, NAcer Bohanni 3:46 down
Magnus Cort Nielsen 3:08 down
Aleksander Kristoff 0:38 down
Nathan Haas WINNER
Greg van Avermaet, Vincenzo Nibali, Odd Christian Eiking  same time as winner.

I think that was a decent prediction...
Nice work by Eiking considering he has broken a bone (no idea which one) in his foot.

 
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 14, 2018, 22:12
SKA crashed I gather.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 14, 2018, 23:01
Replying to myself, to put predictions for tomorrows stage at the base of the thread

Stage 3: (Thursday, Feb 15) German University of Technology – Way Dayqah Dam, 180 km

Map
(https://i.imgur.com/ajO6j8t.jpg)

Profile
(https://i.imgur.com/Nd4NJgl.jpg)

Last year's results:
(but the finish is different this time, looks much easier)


With an easier finish, this one goes to the sprinters or classics riders with a fast finish. Climbing skills less important, because the hard climb comes early and the Wadi Dayqah climb looks short and still is some 8 km from the finish.

** #vital Bryan Coquard, #didata Mark Cavendish
* #uae Aleksander Kristoff, #bmc Greg van Avermaet, #trek Giacomo Nizzolo

There are a few others that could have been on the list, like SKA if he's recovered from the crash and Max Walscheid if SKA is not recovered, but it's fun trying to keep the list short. And there isn't a clear favorite IMHO.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: search on February 15, 2018, 07:09
it's an uphill finish though. 500m at 10% or something like that, if the official profile is to be believed

(http://06.live-radsport.ch/images/18021036556-hoehenprofil-tour-of-oman-2018---etappe-3-letzte-5-km.jpg)
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 15, 2018, 11:19
Nibs lost 8 seconds on Superman today.

And as for Boswell...
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: L'arri on February 15, 2018, 11:43
The Denderman wins.



Looks like it's going to come down to Nibali and Lopez on Green Mountain with possible dark horses in Izagirre (if not Nibs), Herrada, Costa and maybe even Kudus. Not sure if any of the other guys can climb well enough.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 15, 2018, 13:37
Nibs has said that he thinks he'll go well up Green Mountain. Will be interesting to see if they try to send Gorka up the road, or Astana with Lutsenko.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 15, 2018, 20:59
Stage 4: (Friday, Feb 16) Yiti (Al Sifah) – Ministry of tourism,  118 km.


map:
(https://i.imgur.com/SzIazhp.jpg)

Profile:
(https://i.imgur.com/JCIHXnL.jpg)

Short stage with a punchy hill on repeat 3 times in the finale, but the finish line is down on the other side. This might end up rather intense, if Greg van Avermaet wants to win overall he has a chance to get some time on #bahrain Nibali and #astana Lopez here. However, last year, the GC riders kept up with the classics riders (quite identical parcours), and #katusha Kristoff won the sprint from a big group of about 50 finishing s.t.

Last year's results:


Kristoff has yet to win this year, and I gather he has had just enough of that, so my guess for tomorrow is

*** #uae Aleksander Kristoff
**#bmc Greg van Avermaet, #vital Bryan Coquard
* #katusha Nathan Haas, #astana Magnus Cort, #sunweb Søren Kragh Andersen

Concerning the GC, #bahrain Nibali or #astana Lopez are to be expected to take it home on the green mountain saturday, but the gaps among the top 10 there were in the 30 secs - 1 minute range last year. If Nibali looses more to  van Avermaet and Haas tomorrow, there is no guarantee he'll catch that on the green mountain.

#wanty Eiking doesn't expect to finish with the white jersey, he can't sprint well due to his foot and longer climbs hasn't been his cup of tea. What then about the other Wanty rider high up on the list, Fabien Doubey?  To me he is an absolute unknown. Can he climb?

Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: M Gee on February 16, 2018, 03:12
Out of all the Arabian nation races, I wish they televised this one. At least on paper, it sounds like it could be interesting.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Leadbelly on February 16, 2018, 09:42
https://twitter.com/tourofoman/status/964433581136334848

Break: Jacques Janse Van Renseburg (Dimension Data), Loïc Chetout (Cofidis), Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Floors), Casper Pedersen (Aqua Blue Sport), Pieter Weening (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) & Jon Irisarri (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: LukasCPH on February 16, 2018, 14:42
After a series of nearly-theres, The Sun King Cort takes it today. :win

Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: L'arri on February 16, 2018, 14:49
The guy has been knocking at the door longer than most this year already. He is maturing fast. Exceptional talent.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: M Gee on February 16, 2018, 15:15
Just watched the ASO vid of the last km on stage 3 - classic classic classic! Uphill finish, BMC goes to the front and burn baby burn, watch those legs burn. A bit more than halfway up, and GVA takes over and jumps ahead of what remained to finish alone. Rui Costa tried to go with, but couldn't hold.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 16, 2018, 19:18
The guy has been knocking at the door longer than most this year already. He is maturing fast. Exceptional talent.

He is a big talent but he needs to be more confident in himself and get to the front in sprints. His positioning is often too far back.

Amstel should suit him down to the ground on either the new or old finish.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Archieboy on February 17, 2018, 13:51
Nice from Joel's man on Stg 5.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 17, 2018, 14:00
The guy has been knocking at the door longer than most this year already. He is maturing fast. Exceptional talent.

He is a big talent but he needs to be more confident in himself and get to the front in sprints. His positioning is often too far back.

Amstel should suit him down to the ground on either the new or old finish.

#astana Magnus Cort already has a handful of stage wins at 2.HC and 2.1 level, this is still just the Tour of Oman and not a WT race. No reason to get overly excited! His best results remains 2 stage wins from the Vuelta - and if you have that, you are no longer knocking on doors.  :cool

(*no plan to nationalize him is still underway AFAIK  :D)
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 17, 2018, 14:04
As I said, still just the Tour of Oman, no need to get overly.....

Gooooo Eiking!
  :D

(https://i.imgur.com/bVxhbW2.png)

Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 17, 2018, 18:35
Nice from Joel's man on Stg 5.

It was all a bit Gewiss today.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 17, 2018, 20:25
Actually their winning time up the green mountain was one of the slower ones compared to the previous years. Maybe the rest of the peloton just wasn't as good climbers as we are used to see in Oman.

Any comments on why Nibali didn't go faster? A few days ago he said he thought he would do well on the green mountain.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: Joelsim on February 18, 2018, 07:35
Actually their winning time up the green mountain was one of the slower ones compared to the previous years. Maybe the rest of the peloton just wasn't as good climbers as we are used to see in Oman.

Any comments on why Nibali didn't go faster? A few days ago he said he thought he would do well on the green mountain.

Nibali is rubbish for 3/4 of every year.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: t-72 on February 18, 2018, 21:33
Sorry for not following up the previews for the weekend stages. I blame good skiing conditions and the olympics  :cool

Anyway, for the final stage, a win by #uae Aleksander Kristoff is no news, but tradition, as I think it is third year in a row he wins it. Coquard in 2nd showing his first stage win was no coincidence, and Nizzolo also high up on the list.
The sprints seem to have been the better stages of this ToO, which has been marked by fewer GC riders than what is ususally seen here. 

Stage results:


General classification:


Quite happy to see #wanty Eiking hanging on for top 10 despite fracture in his foot.
Title: Re: Tour of Oman 2018
Post by: LukasCPH on February 18, 2018, 22:17
Amstel should suit him down to the ground on either the new or old finish.
Amstel is indeed a perfect race for him. Cort is not a sprinters' sprinter - he's someone who can deliver a big punch ... which translates into also being decent in the sprints. But he's always excelled most on short, punchy finishing climbs.