Tour of Oman 2016: The Route
The 2016 Tour of Oman starts February 16 and is set to finish February 21. Virtually all stages feature several hills, while on two occasions the finish line is at the end of a climb. Toughest is the Queen Stage leading up to Green Mountain after a 7 kilometres closing climb at 11,3%.
Stage 1 in the Tour of Oman is a hilly stage, featuring two steep climbs in the last 25 kilometres. The last one – Al Jissah: 1.4 kilometres at 9% – is crested with only 4 kilometres left, while the arrival is slightly uphill also. Last year, Cancellara took the stage with a similar arrival, two years ago it was André Greipel.
At 161 kilometres, stage 2 is another interesting endeavor. The race is on flat to rolling roads, but the finish line is at at the end of a 3 kilometres climb at 6.5%.
Basically, stage 3 is a mega long false flat leading to an elevation of nearly 500 metres, after which the second part of the race brings the opposite height profile. Yet, no sprinter has to be scared. The 2014 Tour of Oman saw a stage with a similar profile with Marcel Kittel outsprinting the pack.
The Queen Stage takes place on Friday, February 19. At 177 kilometres, the course leads to Green Mountain and we can expect the final 7 kilometres to turn the GC upside down. From bottom to top the average grades per kilometre are 11.4%, 12.8%, 5.5%, 11.9%, 12.4%, 11.9%, while the last kilometre brings a gruelling bonus at 13%.
Stage 5 is played out on a hilly course with the last climb is to be crested with 13.5 kilometres left. Centrepiece is the Bousher Alamrat, which will be climbed from both sides, meaning a 3.2 kilometres climb at 6.8%, with a maximum grade at 20%, and a 3.4 kilometres climb at 8.8%. In recent years, stages with a similar finale brought prestigious winners, viz., Chris Froome and Peter Sagan.
At 130.5 kilometres, stage 6 should be a sprinters party as the course is mostly flat. Just as in all stages in the 2016 Tour of Oman time bonuses at the finish line are 10, 6 and 4 seconds.
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