Oman Launches Tour of Oman
by Holiday Rental Centre Team
On 18th January 2010 Oman announced it is to launch its first national cycling tour in February, joining the ranks of France, Italy, India and Japan.
The race, which is the Arab's answer to the Tour de France, will see 128 riders and 16 teams cover 687km over a period of six days.
The race will be held acoss Oman’s mountains and potentially including the country’s highest peak, Jebel Akhdar, which stands nearly 3,000m high.
The tour will take place on 14th - 19th February and will award $161,880 worth of prize money. The winner will take $13,227.
“A magnificent new destination,” Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, told the New York Times.
France’s famous cycling race is owned by Amaury Sport Organisation, which will also handle the logistics of the Tour of Oman.
“The Middle East has proved to be the ideal terrain for the start of the cycling season, its climate and geography being ideal for the competitors’ requirements at this time of year,” said Prudhomme.
Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi, the head of the Muscat Municipality and the Municipal Council, told the newspaper the Tour is expected to bolster Oman’s tourism ambitions. “Everyone in Oman is excited and supportive,” he said. “We have a young population and the Tour will inspire them.”
Oman is the second Gulf country to host an international cycling tour, after Qatar’s inaugural race nine years ago. Qatar’s race is scheduled from February 7 to 12, or two days before the start in Oman.
According to the International Cycling Union, the sport’s world governing body, Oman is the fifth Middle Eastern country to feature on its annual event calendar, following in the footsteps of Egypt, Libya and Morocco.
The HRC team are UK based travel writers, specialising in holiday destinations worldwide. They travel and assist in the management of Holiday Rental Centre which forms an increasing collection of articles, top-tips and travel resources.