2022 Tour of Oman Stage 2 Preview

Naseem Garden > Sohar Corniche 167.3km

Another boring looking sprint stage, or will it be?


The wind is to strengthen throughout the day, and as the whole day is spent on the coast, there is a chance of echelons. There will be a lot of crosswind, but with the wind only around 15km/h, it would take a big effort to split the bunch. No doubt some teams will try, we’ll have to wait and see if they’re successful.


Long, straight roads. The lack of pinch points makes life harder for the sprint trains, this is where experience is vital. Those that have a shorter train will have to risk it for a biscuit! They need to try and stay hidden, quite high up the bunch, before surging to the front in the final 2km. Those with longer trains will be able to hit the front and stay there, but they need to be careful not to run out of domestiques. It might look easy, but a finish like this is harder than you think.


Fernando Gaviria – today was a great example of sprint train art. UAE controlled much of the final 5km, but still had enough men left for the final kilometre. Richeze timed his surge to perfection, allowing Gaviria to launch his sprint with 150 to go. Having raced in the Saudi Tour, I expected he would be stronger than his rivals, and so it turned out to be. UAE will be hoping for a repeat performance in this stage, but it’s won’t be easy. Gaviria starts as the man to beat, but he’s not won back-to-back stages since 2018.

Mark Cavendish – QuickStep tried to go toe to toe with UAE today, a brave decision considering they have two fewer men. Cav started the sprint in third position, easily passing Groves, but he didn’t have enough to make up the ground to Gaviria. Given this was his first race of the season he’ll be encouraged be his performance, he looked faster than Gaviria in the final 50m. The problem for QuickStep is the lack of numbers, something they’re not used to. If I were them, I’d forget about trying to control the final 10km, they should focus on the final 3km. In Steels, Keisse and Van Tricht they have enough power to challenge UAE. Leading from the front is ideal, but I think Cav can also win if he’s on Gaviria’s wheel.

Kaden Groves – I like him, but he’s not fast enough to win against Gaviria and Cavendish.

Amaury Capiot – not much support in the finale, but he should be fighting for third.

Prediction Time

QuickStep to learn from today and Mark Cavendish to take his first win of 2022.