The peloton passes the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat during stage 6 of the 2022 Tour of Oman (Image credit: THOMAS SAMSONAFP via Getty Images)
We’ve finally got there: after all the seemingly interminable twists and turns regarding which team Mark Cavendish would end up joining for 2023, this Friday at the Muscat Classic and then from Saturday onwards in the Tour of Oman , the Briton is finally back down to the racing business again.
It barely matters, in one sense, that Cavendish’s first race of the 2023 season, the Muscat Classic, is likely too hilly for him in the finale to have a huge chance of winning.
The moment when the 37-year-old heads to the sign-on of the brand-new Omani one-day race will feel almost like the long-awaited end of a career chapter, rather than the much-anticipated start of another. Such has been the long-running saga that started last summer – the collage of events of the past few months which has seen the rise and collapse of the B&B Hotels project, the rumours regarding where he might go, and his last-minute signing with Astana Qazaqstan .
But the start of a new chapter in Cavendish’s career on Friday will likely prove to be one with an importance that can’t be underestimated. After all the Muscat Classic and the five-day Tour of Oman are where the 2023 road to the Tour de France and the bid for the 35th (or more) stage victory begins to take a definitive shape […]
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