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Kaden Groves handed chance to test his mettle against Mark Cavendish and Arnaud Démare at Tour of Oman

Australian to lead team going up against heavyweight sprinters from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, UAE Team Emirates, and Groupama-FDJ.

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Kaden Groves (Team BikeExchange-Jayco), 23, will be hoping to carry his team’s fine start to the season into the race after teammate Dylan Groenewegen picked up two wins in the recent Saudi Tour.

Groves had a successful end to the 2021 campaign, winning a stage in the Tour of Slovakia, and picking up a number of placings in the Cro Race. The opposition will be at a far more formidable level at the Tour of Oman, February 10-15, with Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) making his season debut, and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) both looking for their first wins of 2022.

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“I think it will be really good to start the season off properly in Oman, I have raced the UAE Tour a few times and have always enjoyed racing that style of racing, flatter stages with good weather, so I am really keen to get to Oman,” Groves said before traveling out to the race.

“I had two days of racing in Valencia which was good to get my feeling again of being in the bunch, and now I am really looking forward to the race in Oman as it is the first goal of the year for me. We have a good team to do some lead-outs and we also have Colleoni for the hillier GC days.

“It will be my first time doing this race and I am just really keen to start the year off well. Hopefully, we get can some good results, I really believe that with this team, and my current form, we can get a podium and some wins,” he added.

Groves will be joined by veteran Cameron Meyer and Callum Scotson after both riders raced in Australia earlier in the year. Alex Konychev Kevin Colleoni, Kelland O’Brien, and Campbell Stewart make up the rest of the team, with the latter making his debut for the squad.

“With Kaden we have our best chance to make a good result and that will be our focus in Oman, but that doesn’t mean on the other stages we will do nothing,” said sports director, Tristin Hoffman.

“We will try to race aggressively and if there is a breakaway or crosswinds, we would like to be in the front with a few riders to always be well presented. With Kaden, we have him for the three sprint stages and even maybe the fourth stage when he is in super-good shape. We also have Kevin Colleoni to have a shot at the general classification, this will be good for him to gain experience, and let’s see how far he can go with this.”

“In general, we have a real mix of riders, some young, some older, and some starting their season here, so we are looking forward to it and hopefully we can continue with the good work from the Saudi Tour.”

VeloNews will have daily race reports, news, and interviews from the Tour of Oman.