Tour of Oman 2018 odds
Who wins Tour of Oman 2018?
Tour of Oman 2018 preview
The Tour of Oman 2018 is a six-stage UCI Asia Tour cycling race, consisting of a mixture of sprint and hilly stages, with one mountain stage. Its mixed stages makes the race particularly challenging for the peloton.
Now in its ninth year, the Tour of Oman will once again feature a difficult summit finish on Jebel Akhdar, otherwise known as the iconic Green Mountain, for the eighth year in a row.
Starting on 13th February 2018, the Tour winner will likely be decided on the 5.7 km summit climb as the cyclists take on a monstrous 10.5% gradient. Given its difficult finish, it’s no surprise that past winners include professional cycling heavyweights, Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali. British cyclist Chris Froome won the race two years running in 2013 and 2014.
The 2018 stages
The 914.5 km course takes the peloton through the gruelling Sultanate of Oman. Opening up the Tour is the first of the sprinters stages, with a fast finish at the Sultan Qaboos University promising early sprinting success.
The sprinters joy will be short-lived as stage two takes the peloton into the hills, finishing at Al-Bustan. Stage three, which is a similar stage to the second, includes a sharp climb of 800m, which will get the cyclists legs burning and can split the peloton wide open.
Stage four is the shortest of the stages, finishing at the Ministry of Tourism. However, the cyclists will still have to tackle a climb up Al-Jabal Street, averaging an 8% gradient.
The ‘queen’ stage of the Tour is stage five, which includes the summit climb of the Green Mountain. The 10.5% gradient climb is where the race is generally decided - like in last year’s race when Ben Hermans from BMC Racing won the stage and went on to take the title.
The Tour of Oman finishes with another fast and furious sprint stage, with the riders battling it out for a stage victory at Matrah Corniche.
Who will win?
Alexander Kristoff will be a favourite for the sprint stages following an excellent showing in the 2017 edition. He won three of the six stages. However, he will face tough competition in the form of Mark Cavendish, Nacer Bouhanni and Bryan Coquard.
On the more hilly stages, classics favourites such as Greg Van Avermaet and Niki Terpstra will be expected to have more joy, while the final mountain stage will play into the hands of Vincenzo Nibali, Miguel Angel Lopez and Rui Costa.
Given the high-speed stages for the sprinters, the undulating hills for the classics riders, and the Green Mountain stage for the climbers, this is a race that truly has something for everyone.