Robert Gesink, 2011 winner, returns to the Tour of Oman next week. Even if the Dutchman’s goals fall later in the season, he hopes to do well in the Middle Eastern stage race, especially after placing fifth in the Tour Down Under last month.
“I had a good time in Australia, but when I returned to Europe I suffered quite a bit because of the jetlag,” said Gesink. “After I got through it, I quickly got back into my rhythm and trained at a high level. I’m working towards Tirreno-Adriatico, but until then, I want to race as well as possible.” Gesink knows what awaits him in the sultanate. “It is a beautiful race with a nice route. As a former winner, I’d like to put on a good show. The level is high, but I’m aiming for a good classification result.”
Sports Director Jan Boven, already in the Middle East with the Tour of Qatar team, will work with some of the same tactics and riders as in Qatar. “We’ll see how it goes day by day,” Boven said. “With Robert, we have a strong rider. For him, it’s important that he doesn’t lose time until the fifth stage, which finishes on Green Mountain. That’s a fair test and the strongest rider will win there. “Theo Bos will go home after Qatar, but with Barry Markus, we still have a fast sprinter.”
The Tour of Oman covers six stages from February 18 to 23.
Jetse Bol, Lars Boom, Stef Clement, Jos van Emden, Robert Gesink, Barry Markus, Maarten Tjallingii and Robert Wagner.