Both Tour of Oman and Qatar see drop in WorldTour team numbers
As was the case with the Tour of Qatar lineup announced on Tuesday by ASO, the team listing for the Tour of Oman is also a depleted one, in terms of WorldTour squads.
The race organiser confirmed the identities of the invited squads on Wednesday. In contrast to the 2015 edition, when 12 WorldTour squads took part, a total of nine will be in attendance at the race next February.
Those teams are Etixx-Quick Step, Ag2r La Mondiale, Team Giant Alpecin, Lampre-Merida, Astana Pro Team, Team LottoNL-Jumbo, Katusha, Team Dimension Data and BMC Racing Team.
Of those, Etixx-Quick Step, Ag2r La Mondiale and Team LottoNL-Jumbo were not in attendance last year, but will compete this time around. Team Dimension Data returns, having stepped up to the WorldTour level.
The teams that either didn’t get a repeat invite or declined to take part are FDJ, IAM Cycling, Movistar Team, Orica-GreenEdge, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Trek Factory Racing.
These will also miss Qatar.
It is not clear why the numbers of WorldTour squads have dropped for the two ASO events.
The Tour of Oman lineup will be completed by Drapac Professional Cycling, Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise, Wanty Groupe Gobert. Cult Energy-Stolting Group, Fortuneo Vital Concept, Bora – Argon 18, Roompot-Oranje Peloton, CCC Sprandi Polkowice and United Healthcare Pro Cycling.
The race runs from February 16 – 21.