Stage five in Oman cancelled
21 February 2015

Race safety

Extreme heat and added stress for riders' safety make penultimate day of racing in Asia -set to decide the GC outcome- deemed too dangerous

Today chaos overshadowed the 2015 Tour of Oman right from the early morning. The race was scheduled to cover its fifth stage today, over 151.5km from Al Sawadi Beach to the Ministry of Housing, but "the initial start was cancelled due to strong winds," Movistar Team DS on Asian turf Chente García Acosta explained. "The wind speed and the sandstorm it caused advised against starting from that point. We went by car to the second of the climbs to be tackled in the final circuit, got the guys on the bikes and started a neutralized ride over that ascent and the descent that completed the circuit." The modified route included three and a half lap around the Bousher El Amerat KOM, for a total of 95km.

However, despite the Movistar Team using the best materials available, it's almost impossible for many not to get into troubles when extreme conditions like the ones sustained later on show up. "On that descent, due to extreme heat – 38º, 40ºC – the downhill and the hairpin turns, we all into the bunch started to puncture 'en masse'. We counted eleven punctures only in that descent -García Acosta later confirmed that, luckily, no Blues were involved-. It's true that a neutralized peloton goes a bit slower, you brake more and it's easier to have a puncture but looking at the situation, the riders searched for a solution to avoid it. Deemed too dangerous, the race was cancelled. There were riders that hurt their hands due to the heat when taking off their punctured wheel, and teams like Bardiani ran out of replacements after so many flat tires."