The Cycling Heroes Of The Tour Of Oman Are Set To return




Tour Of Oman

Tour Of Oman

Mumbai, 15 December, 2010: Oman’s International sporting calendar highlight is the 2nd Tour of Oman. At a press conference held within al Musannah Sports City on 9 December, the legendary cyclist and Tour of Oman organizer Eddy Merckx, the Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme and the famous French cyclist Bernard Hinault, another five times winner of the Tour de France, joined Director-General Saif Al Rashidy from Muscat Municipality to unveil the names of the successful teams and the new route map for the 2011 Tour.

After the successful first edition of the Tour of Oman in February 2010, which was marked by the victory of the Swiss champion Fabian Cancellara, the heroes of the road are already aware that this second Tour will be much hillier than in 2010. Hailed as an ideal early season training ground by the cyclists, competitors this year will also find themselves tackling part of the mighty Jebel Akhdar (the green mountain); a major test in endurance as well as around a loop of the ancient seaport of Sur.

“In February 2011 the Tour will be one of the key highlights of the Muscat Festival (27 January – 24 February), an annual showcase of Oman’s heritage and culture.  Alongside a Muscat Fashion Week, an Oman Food Festival, the international Extreme Sailing competition and an Oman Heritage and Cultural Village, the Tour will now see one hundred and twenty eight of the major names in the sport of cycling returning to the Sultanate. Consisting of six stages, the competitors will be racing across some of the most spectacular Omani countryside as well as through the heart of Muscat.” said Saif Al Rushaidy, Director-General of External Liaison for Muscat Municipality in his opening remarks at the press conference.

Eddy Merckx then took to the floor and announced the names of the successful teams who had been secured a place in the 2011 edition and why he wanted to bring a version of the Tour de France to the Sultanate of Oman. “Oman is a breathtakingly beautiful country and an exciting addition to the international cycling calendar. This is a race to watch. There was huge interest from a number of teams and selecting the final sixteen was extremely difficult.”

Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director also fully endorsed the inclusion of Oman on the international cycling scene and praised the organization and atmosphere of the inaugural edition in 2010. “Racing through Oman’s magnificent countryside, the atmosphere was exhilarating. Watching nearly one hundred and thirty professional cyclist speeding past was the first introduction to this competitive sport for the majority of the spectators and the enthusiasm shown is a bedrock for ensuring the future success of the competition.

With the edition of the Sultanate of Oman to the world circuit, the cycling world continues to extend its realm in new directions. More than ever, we believe that the Tour of Oman has a great future worthy of the prestige of this great nation.”

The teams unveiled for the 2011 Tour of Oman are:

Astana (KAZ); BMC Racing Team (USA); Cofidis (FRA); Farnese Neri Cycling Team (GBR);
 FDJ (FRA);
 Garmin-Cervelo (USA);
 Geox-TMC (ESP);
 Lampre-I S D (ITA);
 Liquigas-Cannondale (ITA);
 Pegasus Sports (AUS);
 Quickstep Cycling Team (BEL);
 Rabobank (HOL);
 Sky Pro Cycling Team (GBR);
 Team HTC – Highroad (GBR);
 The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project (LUX);
 Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator (BEL).

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