Stage 4 and stage 5 are probably going to be decisive. Stage 4 leads to Green Mountain, a climb with an average grade at 13,5% in the last two kilometres, while stage 5 offers four steep climbs op Bousher Alamrat in the last 60 kilometres.
Last year Nibali was dropped big time in the Queen Stage to Green Mountain and as a consequence he could say bye bye to the overall. His golden moment was somewhere in July. Odds are the Sicilian takes the same route in 2015, so don’t expect a super-strong Nibali in Oman.
Fourth in the 2013 overall plus winning the Queen Stage to Green Mountain that year. Last season Purito was mostly invisible, still, the old warrior (35) is someone to watch.
Rui Costa (image)
Wearing the rainbow jersey, Costa only took the Tour de Suisse in 2014. While riding with the best in Paris-Nice (2nd) and the Tour of Romandie (3rd), the Tour de France turned out to be a disaster and the Portuguese abandoned. Being only 28 years of age, the Portuguese will see 2015 as a year of revenge.
Tejay van Garderen
Last year’s runner-up in Oman, Van Garderen was strong in the Tour de France also. But in a lot of races in between he simply was too volatile, alternating between stage wins (Volta a Catalunya) and invisibility (Dauphiné). The 2015 season should bring the 26-year old steady performances and confidence.
Probably the same story as Nibali’s here. Aiming high in his home race, the 24-year old Frenchman will mainly be in Oman to enjoy the sun. Amazing talent nevertheless, finishing third in La Grande Boucle 2014.
Other riders to watch: Rafal Majka, Alejandro Valverde, Wout Poels, Leopold König and Julián Arredondo
Tour of Oman 2015: Images and more
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