Tour of Oman set for February
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Tour of Oman set for February

by Steve Jones at 10:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
The Tour of Oman is going forward with it's inaugural edition in 2010. Organizers have announced that route details for the first edition of the race will be unveiled in Paris this coming January. The race is scheduled to take place from February 14-19.

The Tour of Oman is part of the ongoing attempt to globalize cycling. Legendary cyclist Eddy Merckx is the race organiser, and will fill the same role he currently occupies for the Qatari tour.

"I have visited the country in western Asia. The leaders have asked me my opinion. The road is very good. In contrast to Qatar, it is hilly and in the northern part they have mountains," said an enthusiastic Merckx to earlier this year.

Merckx has reached an agreement with city officials in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, for holding the event from 2010 onward. Situated on southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Oman will provide the peloton with more varied terrain than the Tour of Qatar.

In the last couple of years the Sultanate of Oman has been positioning itself as a tourist destination. It has been featured in many publications and won "Top Destination" in Vogue Magazine for 2008. Bike races have long been a powerful way to market an area as a resort destination, with the three Grand Tours as prime examples of that, along with the Tours of Britain, California, Ireland, and Missouri.

The six-day Tour of Oman is situated on the calendar after the Tour of Qatar. The races are positioned to compliment on another, and can be used together for riders to build up their form for the Spring Classics.

Earlier this month reported that problems with cases of Swine flu had forced the race to be postponed until 2011. This no appears to not be the case.

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