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Mark Cavendish leads Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl into Tour of Oman

British sprinter makes his 2022 race debut against Arnaud Démare and Fernando Gaviria

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Mark Cavendish (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) will make his 2022 race debut at the Tour of Oman (February 10-15) with the British sprinter set to lead the line in the sprint stages. The race will be Cavendish’s first competitive outing since he suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung in a heavy fall during last year’s Ghent Six track cycling event.

Cavendish signed a one-year contract extension over the winter after a miraculous comeback season in 2021 that included four Tour de France stages and the second green jersey of his long and distinguished career. It’s unclear whether the 36-year-old will get another shot at Tour de France glory this season with the Giro d’Italia penciled in for the time being. He has not raced on the road since the British national championships road race last autumn but he will have the chance to kick-start his new campaign in a race where he has tasted success previously.

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There are three stages in the Tour of Oman that are likely to finish in bunch sprints, and Quick-Step has also sent Fausto Masnada to the race as an option for the overall classification. Arnaud Démare (Groupama FDJ) and Fernando Gavira (UAE Team Emirates) are among the other headline sprinters at the race.

“The Tour of Oman is back and comes with a nice course, with many stage finishes already used at many of the previous editions. We will try to be in the mix with Mark in the bunch sprints, and if possible, do something with Fausto [Masnada] in the general classification. He has just returned from a training camp and is motivated to kick off his season. Overall, we go there with a solid team, capable of getting some good results,” said Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck in a statement released by the team.

Joining Cavendish and Masnada at the race will be Mauro Schmid, Stijn Steels, as well as neo-pros Stan Van Tricht, and Ethan Vernon.

VeloNews will have race reports, news, interviews, and analysis from the 2022 Tour of Oman.