After a very credible showing in last week’s Tour of Qatar, where the An Post team held their own against a strong ProTour line up, the boys in green are back in the saddle again this week. A squad of eight will ride in the Tour of Oman which gets underway tomorrow, Tuesday 15th February.
Bogaerts can be happy with his team’s progression last week, and will be expecting them to improve yet again this week. Strong, aggressive team tactics saw them involved in many of the breakaways, and there were some fine individual performances throughout the five stage race. New signing Gediminas Bagdonas finished off the week strongly, winning one of the three sprints in the final stage, and coming second in another, while his fellow new signing Andy Fenn was rewarded with a 12th spot overall in the Young Riders Category.
Veteran 40-year old Belgian rider Niko Eeckhout has been rewarded for his fine leadership in Qatar, retaining his position as team leader, and is once again joined by Irish pair Sam Bennett and Mark Cassidy.
Mark McNally, Andy Fenn and Belgians Kevin Claeys, Maxim De Busschere and Pieter Ghyllebert complete the line up.
Thousands of spectators are expected to witness the 6-day race, which includes one time trial and five stages, covering a distance of over 850 kilometres. The boys in green will again face a host of top level teams including Astana, Garmin-Cervelo and Sky-Procycling.
Team manager Kurt Bogaerts is relishing the opportunity of another high profile race so quickly after the Tour of Qatar.
“Last week we showed that we are capable of racing with the top teams against the top guys, so it has given everyone a massive boost. We were involved in many big breaks and the main action almost every day. I really believe all we need is a little more luck to get the big result we deserve.”
“I’m really proud of the effort the team put in Qatar and I am looking for the same in Oman. If I get the same commitment we will go close to reaching our targets.”