Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was put in an induced coma on Wednesday after sustaining head and chest injuries in a crash on the final stretch of the Tour de Pologne race in southern Poland.
Top riders Cadel Evans, Bradley Wiggins, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Mark Cavendish are now confirmed to compete at the Sultanate of Oman between 11th-16th February 2013 for the fourth edition of the Tour of Oman.
World Champion Philippe Gilbert will join fellow elite cyclists in a 938.6km six stage tour through mostly-flat terrain which is peppered with hills.
The tour cruises along the coastline of the Sea of Oman and includes the Green Mountain summit finish at Jebel Al Akhdar.
With a gradient of 10.3 percent over a winding 5.8km, the summit finish proves to be one of the highlights and true tests of the Tour.
Race organiser Eddy Merckx comments that “The line-up for the event this year, the competition’s fourth year, is simply outstanding. It is all thanks to the willingness of the Omani authorities and the incredible reception of the Omani people”.
The official line up boasts 18 teams including Australias Orica GreenEDGE accompanied by Omega Pharma Quick-Step, Saxo – Tinkoff, BMC, Radioshack – Leopard, AG2R La Mondiale, FDJ, Cannondale, Astana, Argos – Shimano, Vacansoleil – DCM, Sky and Katusha.
There are also national teams from China, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Switzerland.
The race consists of six stages:
Stage 1, Monday 11 February: Al Musannah – Sultan Qaboos University (162km)
Stage 2, Tuesday 12 February: Fanja in Bidbid – Al Bustan (146km)
Stage 3, Wednesday 13 February: Nakhal Fort – Wadi Dayqah Dam (190km)
Stage 4, Thursday 14 February: Al Saltiyah in Samail – Jabal Al Akhdhar / Green Mountain (152.5km)
Stage 5, Friday 15 February: Al Alam Palace – Ministry of Housing in Boshar (144km)
Stage 6, Saturday 16 February: Hawit Nagam Park – Muttrah Corniche (144km).