Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team is ready to take on Tour of Oman, from Feb. 11th to Feb 16th. Peter Velits returns with the chance to defend his overall victory of 2012 — an important addition to his palmares. Peter used that 2012 victory as a springboard for his season, winning the Slovak National TT Championship, and being part of the UCI World Champion TTT for OPQS in Valkenburg.
Peter began 2013 by being one of the team leaders going into Tour Down Under. He finished 22nd in the GC, with a top finish of 18th place in the 135km first stage of Tour Down Under. Velits gained important fitness for Tour of Oman.
Now, it's time to race Tour of Oman in 2013. We spoke to Peter on Friday about his goals, condition, and the race.
Peter, what is your feeling about Tour of Oman?
It's going to be quite special for me to be here again. Last year this race gave me the first victory as a professional in a stage race. It was a moment I will never forget.
How is your condition leading into the race?
I've been in Oman since Monday. I've had some good training, so I'm pretty happy about it. Last year I came into this race through Challenge Mallorca. This year I already have a week of races at Tour Down Under. I don't know if I'm better or not. For sure, I feel good but we will see how things will be. At the beginning of the season you never know where you are until the moment you start to compete. For sure, it would be nice to be there again, fighting again for the victory.
What was your experience like in 2012 when you won the overall?
Last year I was quite surprised about my race. For me it was an important step to prepare for Tirreno Adriatico, but I felt good and I took it day by day. At the end the result was there. It was nice to battle with Vincenzo Nibali until the end. I have really good memories about it.
So, what about 2013? What do you think of the parcour?
I didn't really look at the parcour yet. I'm waiting for the racebook. It's like a tradition to start checking the parcour with my teammates and the sport directors. In any case, it will be similar to last year's parcour.The uphill finish will be more or less the same and the fight for the win will be that day.
Well Peter, we wish you good luck!