On the back of taking his first win of the season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Greg Van Avermaet will fine tune his Classics preparation at the Tour of Oman this week from 16 – 21 February.
The Tour of Oman provides another opportunity for CCC Team’s newly-formed Classics roster to race together before opening weekend, Sports Director Valerio Piva said.
“Traditionally for us, the Tour of Oman is the final preparation race ahead of the start of the Classics season and this year is no different. We will be going there with a team ready, and motivated, to work for Greg Van Avermaet. He has done this race for the last six years in a row and as we have seen before, it is a good race with some stages that really suit him so, the main objective will be to race for a stage win with Greg. We don’t have anyone for the General Classification, as like always this will be decided on Green Mountain and we are not taking a climber with us this year. However, this means that, as well as supporting Greg, everyone will have a chance to jump in different moves,” Piva explained.
“The group we are going to Oman with is similar to the one we had at Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with only Nathan Van Hooydonck and Kamil Gradek coming in. We saw the team working well for Greg in Spain and I was really happy with what I saw there. The guys are happy to be racing together, which is important, and I think overall we are in a good place as we start to finalize everything before the Classics. We have already seen that Greg is in top shape and the others looked good too. Everyone is motivated to help Greg and he trusts them so that gives me confidence and it’s what we like to see going into the Classics.”
Van Avermaet, who won stage three at the 2018 edition, is hoping to continue his early-season success in Oman.
“I always enjoy racing in Oman and I think it’s a really good race for me at this point in the season with nice weather and conditions, and mostly short stages. I am really happy with my form and how the team worked together in Valencia so it will be good to race again together this week,” Van Avermaet said.
“It is always nice to have a win early in the season and I definitely hope to add another one in Oman. There are a few stages that suit me so that is definitely the main goal in Oman, but it’s also a good opportunity to prepare for the Classics. At this time of the year, it’s important to have racing kilometers in the legs after a long off season so the Tour of Oman is the perfect race for that.”
Tour of Oman (16-21 February)
Rider roster: Kamil Gradek (POL), Michael Schär (SUI), Greg Van Avermaet (BEL), Gijs Van Hoecke (BEL), Nathan Van Hooydonck (BEL), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL), Łukasz Wiśniowski (POL)
Sports Directors: Valerio Piva (ITA), Fabio Baldato (ITA)