MUSCAT, Oman, February 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Runner-up of the 2012 Tour de France, Christopher Froome of Great Britain's Team Sky started his 2013 season in style, winning the 4th edition of the Tour of Oman that came to a thrilling close on Saturday. The tour ran from 11-16 February 2013 with five stages and one time trial, covering a total distance of 938.5km with 18 professional cycling teams participating, made up of 144 of the most recognized names in the sport.
The cyclists competed in stages that saw them race through Oman's vibrant capital city, Muscat, and the Al Batinah, the Al Dhakaliya and Al Dhahirah regions in glorious 30˚C sunshine.
His Excellency Sultan Hamdoon Al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality and organiser of the Tour of Oman, stated: "We have the ideal landscape for cycling and I am optimistic that the combination of our road system, organisation, the warm weather and, most importantly, the warmth and enthusiasm of the Omani people will continue to make our race a firm favourite on the calendar for elite cyclists for many years to come.
"It is fitting that we used the occasion of the Tour of Oman to launch O'bike, the first self-service bicycle system in Oman. This is the next step in Muscat Municipality's vision to make Muscat a city for people and part of our plan to build on the momentum that the Tour has created to inspire both locals and tourists to take up cycling in Muscat."
His Excellency Sheikh Saad Mohamed Al Saadi, Minister of Sports Affairs, was the Guest of Honour for the final stage and shared, "The crowds watching from the finish line speak for themselves and showcase the increasing popularity of cycling here in Oman." The tour is expected to be just as popular next year running in February and will again be the first major tour of the calendar year.
A smiling Chris Froome, winner of the 2013 Tour of Oman, said at the launch of the O'Bike initiative: "This was another exciting route, and exciting finale."
The event showcased Oman's natural beauty and varied landscape with the cyclists tackling undulating terrain in the glorious sunshine. Oman hopes to welcome many more visitors for the Tour of Oman in 2014. Whilst in Oman, tourists should be sure to explore Muscat with its ancient cultural heritage and modern style, indulge in pure luxury in some of the most spectacular resorts and spas in the world, experience off-road driving in the desert, dive off the shores of Oman's spectacular 3,165km coastline or play golf at one of Muscat's three 18-hole courses. With its mountains and coastal weather, cyclists can enjoy Oman year-round http://www.omantourism.gov.om.
For more information & high resolution images please contact:
Oman Ministry of Tourism Representative Office in the UK and Ireland
Alison Cryer/Nick Smith
SOURCE Oman Ministry of Tourism