2022 Tour of Oman Stage 1 Preview

Al Rustaq > Oman Exhibition and Convention Centre 138.1km

The race begins a with straightforward sprint stage. A small break will get it up the road, the bunch will slowly catch them, setting up a big sprint.




Easy finish, with a big turn with 900 to go. Obviously, this is the crunch point for the sprint trains, but with 900 still to go there is still time to rescue a poor position. The final 800m averages 2.7%, so timing of the jump will be important.

The team that leads into the final turn will still need two or three lead out men due to the uphill finish. That makes things a little tricky for the final 10km, you can’t afford to burn your men too early. If you get to the front for the final turn with only one lead out man left, you’ll get swamped, and the sprinter will have a hard time recovering in time for the sprint.


Mark Cavendish – after a stunning 2021, Cav is back for his sixteenth year in the professional peloton. We’ll have to see how his winter has gone; riders of a certain age can take a few races to get up to speed. His lead out train is untested, but Steels and Keisse bring a lot of experience. They’ll likely rely on Van Tricht as the final man, which is a new role for him at this level. It doesn’t sound ideal, but Cav is very good at looking after himself in the final kilometre.

Fernando Gaviria – didn’t really threaten a win in the Saudi Tour, he’ll be hoping for better here. Apart from Rui Costa, UAE arrive with a sprint orientated team, they should be a big factor in the sprint stages. I’m particularly interested in seeing how Felix Groß gets on, I’ve had my eye on him for a while. If Gaviria can’t win in races like this, I’m not sure when he’ll win this year.

Amaury Capiot – took a massive win in GP Marseillaise, his first as a professional. Backing that up against some of the best sprinters in the world will be a challenge, but confidence is a valuable commodity for a sprinter.

Kaden Groves – for someone who has a fast sprint, the Aussie doesn’t win enough for me. Sometimes that’s been due to a lack of support, other times the fault has been his own. In this race he’ll have all the support he needs; he arrives with track power to propel him into a good position. I’m looking forward to seeing O’Brien and Stewart in the closing stages, they are two youngsters capable of hitting huge watts. If Groves starts in a good spot, he could take his first big win.

Mihkel Räim – a man with a point to prove. After spending a year back at CT level, he’s back where he belongs. He won’t have a lot of support in the finale, but he does have the speed to surprise the bigger names.

Milan Menten – loves an uphill finish but would prefer one a little harder than this.

Prediction Time

Given his lead out, Fernando Gaviria should be winning this stage.