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Tour of the Middle East - Discussion
Tour of the Middle East

Race Profile


Welcome to … the Middle East. The riders will be racing in three countries over the next four days, as Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman will host the seventh edition of the HC stage race, which means the Qatarese Minions will be trying to get some great results. Two sprints, a stage for the puncheurs and a short but hard mountainous queen stage, who will be victorious? It won’t be Pluchkin for the second year in a row, as the Popo4Ever rider will be replaced by Padun in this edition. There will be two former winners at the start though, let’s look at the list of GC contenders to see who.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Tenorio8476787667
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Kudus8277797770
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Monsalve8176798073
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fpc.png Carthy8175777669
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Uran8173748070
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Padun8077727475
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Martin8075747573
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Choi8074777668
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Nerz8072757268
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Intxausti8069757567
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Latour7975807874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Pomoshnikov7974787666
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Abal7968717470
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter7879717371
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Roson7876677074
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png De la Cruz7875727673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Giogieri7873717467

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Tenorio is the man to beat in this edition of the Tour of the Middle East, as he should be the best climber on the startlist. The number two of this year’s Vuelta a España won’t have an opportunity to show off his time trial capacities, but even without a stage against the clock he still is considered the top favourite. His biggest rival will probably be former winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Kudus. The Repsol rider is a bit worse when it comes to climbing, but is a slightly better puncheur. In Catalunya earlier this season the Eritrean already succeeded in beating the Spanish top favourite, is he able to do it again?

Those two should also watch out for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Monsalve and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fpc.png Carthy. The two climbers also know how to sprint up a hill and are both riding for teams where everything seems to be working out this season. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Uran on the other hand has really been feeling the effect of getting older this season. He is the worst puncheur of the top-5 climbers, but manager Marco will be hoping for that little bit extra in his team’s home race.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Padun, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Martin, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Choi, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Nerz and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Intxausti are the next five climbers on the list. While pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Padun and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Martin are good puncheurs, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Intxausti is the worst of the top-10 on the list. Don’t underestimate the Spaniard though, as he was recently superb in the Monterrey TTT, where he carried the rest of Zalgiris on his shoulders on their way to victory.

Several more strong riders will be hoping for a spot in the top-10 or even top-5. The most versatile of those being pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Latour, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Pomoshnikov, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Roson, 2016 winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png De la Cruz and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Giogieri.

Although some of the GC riders will probably be aiming for stage three as well, some real puncheurs will be trying to be victorious there too. Let’s have a look at the biggest candidates for the win there.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho758070726875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter787971736171
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Benoot757875746971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Siskevicius737873727175
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Moazemi737872726573
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rpn.png Kudus827779776370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Padun807772746075
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Squire777770706171
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Raileanu777774735970
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Areruya777775776874
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Dieteren707775706366
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Tenorio847678765967
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Monsalve817679806573

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho should be the best puncheur in theory. He has a strong acceleration and won’t get dropped on the first longer hill of the day, so the Berg Cycles rider is the favourite for the stage win on stage three. GC rider pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/cap.png Slagter might be his biggest contender, but we also see pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Benoot on the list, who will be looking for vengeance after a bad Grands Prix Cyclistes last month. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Siskevicius is a good puncheur and arguably the best sprinter on the list, while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Moazemi is a dark horse. Other names on the puncheur list include GC contenders and allrounders such as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/xr0.png Areruya, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Squire and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fcj.png Raileanu.

The first two stages should however normally be decided with a bunch sprint. Let’s find out who will be trying to get that first yellow jersey and possible green jersey at the end of the Tour.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Guerao7471648376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Avelino7069658277
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Maksimov7270698184
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Vesely7374688180
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Boeckmans7273708082
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Bonifazio7968758080
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Kupfernagel7473668080
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Haller7272718079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Van Asbroeck7575728078
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/and.png Awang6467627983
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Perera7169737980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Lutsyshyn7069737980
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fpc.png Van der Sande7578737979
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/t3a.png Aberasturi7473717978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Willwohl7371677978
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Vaquera7169657880

Look at that, our two Oscars back together! pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/zal.png Guerao and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Avelino might be the fastest sprinters in theory, their acceleration and physical abilities haven’t helped them a lot their season. On a good day they are both very dangerous sprinters, but we can’t consider them to be the top favourites for a stage win.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Maksimov on the other hand has already won multiple races this season. There is no way around it, the Russian is one of the top favourites for the sprints. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Vesely right below him on the list, and it’s always hard to predict how the Minion is going to sprint. He has had some great sprints and results this season, but just as many times he decided not to sprint, or even start his sprint from 3k out. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/sct.png Boeckmans has only won one race this season, and is one of those hoping to add another stage win to his victory list as well. Most interesting however will be pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/lpu.png Bonifazio. Those cuatro stagionis from Pizza Ullo seem to have a special ingredient in them that makes him forget how good of a sprinter he actually is. Maybe this time the Italian decided to eat some Los Pollos Hermanos chicken wings to make him fly like never before?

Some other names that have proven to be decent sprinters as well in the past or this season and don’t need to worry about being too far down the sprinter’s list or having to do domestique work for their respective leaders are pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Kupfernagel, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/kmm.png Haller, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/pol.png Van Asbroeck,, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bak.png Perera and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Lutsyshyn. It will be interesting to see whether they can mingle with the top sprinters, but on a good day they should be able to do so.

My job here is done (well, at least for today), so have fun inspecting the startlist, as it should include all riders at the start tomorrow (hence the name startlist). Also, Marco, stop sending me those delicious bananas to make sure those Lierse riders suffer a puncture. It’s been a bit too much this season and there are no cobbles tomorrow to make it look real enough. I fear Ollfahrd is starting to notice something’s off.



Kudus won the race in 2018 against prime Pluchkin, so surely great memories from our previous time racing here.

We should really make use of Tenorio's inferiority in the hilly stage to get to the final stage with some sort of timegap. I hope he's back in full form after some disappointing outing in Cyprus and Japan after winning Cataluña and Apex early on the season, we really need to make up those lost points given he doesn't have many RD's left after this one.

Support can't be better, basically bringing all my climbers and a couple of puncheurs to help in the first 3 stages too
Manager of [MG] Repsol - Netflix

Luis Leon Sanchez
I really really NEED a favourable result here!

It’s a strong field but hopefully Martin can have a strong couple days and finish in the Top 5. He has the strong support of Borisavljevic with him.

Avelino has 2 chances here but I can’t say I’m expecting much given his results this season. Prasad is his main support man so hopefully they can work something out.
Strong team, we need a good result for once. Hopefully we'll show the Sheikh why he is paying so much money to keep his son on the team.
Manager of Minions
Do I spot a little bit of foreshadowing? It's really cruel to get my hopes up like that. We should probably focus on helping Senni get a few minor GC points.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
I'm not sure what to expect from this race. Kupfernagel does not seem to be going to achieve more than fighting for the top 10 of the sprint stages.
As for Paulinho, I hope that stage 3 will be tough enough to leave behind some of the candidates for victory in the GC, only in this way he would later be able to try to minimize the losses in the final stage.
pcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.pngManager of Berg Cyclespcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.png
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Excited to see Tenorio back in action after his runner-up finish in the Vuelta. He is currently tied with TVG for most wins in program history with 11. So any victory here would be a monumental one. Grin
Another important race in the relegation battle. I hope Boeckmans can score a stage win in the sprints or at least have two strong results. Unfortunately I haven't brought great support for him, so it might be better if he follows someone else this time. I brought all 3 of my climbers here so I need those HC depth points.

Thanks for the preview Nemo Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
Tenorio and Kudus are surely the bigger favorites, but Monsalve should have every opportunity to do well! Also a rare chance for Perera to lead us in the sprints. Hopefully he can be up there and fight for a good stage result on the first two stages.
Damn, should have plumped for Bennett here. Still, excited to see how Areruya handles a leadership role in a HI/MO race, he's tended towards being over-ambitious and a little silly with early attacks before but worth a roll of the dice here imo to try steal that white jersey from Padun. Guess we'll have to wait and see Smile Looking forward to your reports as ever Nemo Wink
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
4/10/20 - jph27 said "Just need to make sure I don't accidentally promote again."
24/2/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don’t drink famous people.”

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
Hard to expect a GC Top 10, but we certainly can get a couple stage results and 3 guys in Top 50. 100 points would be a goodin
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
Ollfardh wrote:
Do I spot a little bit of foreshadowing? It's really cruel to get my hopes up like that. We should probably focus on helping Senni get a few minor GC points.

Just to make it clear for you or anyone else who has the same question about foreshadowing, I always write the previews before I do the reports, and whatever happens in the race, I never change the previews Smile
Nice work from our neo-pro Kipkemboi to move himself into the white jersey from the breakaway, enjoy that from him. Congrats Sykkel, always nice to see a second/third tier guy like Perera get his chance and take it in such a field Smile
30/12/14 - matt17br said "Sutty's birthday is more important than [Jesus' Birthday]"
4/10/20 - jph27 said "Just need to make sure I don't accidentally promote again."
24/2/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don’t drink famous people.”

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [Doomed] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing
[CX] Listerijns & Kiwis

3x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x3
I was a bit worried as soon as I saw us controlling things at the start. It's weird seeing the sprint favourites fighting for intermediate's, but seeing Boeckmans win those, I thought he might have good legs.

I guess I'll never know. It's my fault for not bringing enough flat support to the race. I hope we can do better on stage 2, because this stage did nothing for us, despite Kurianov's effort in the end.

Congrats on the win Sykkel Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej PogaÄŤar
Luis Leon Sanchez
Not a bad stage that from the team.

Avelino has had some howlers this season so 5th isn’t a bad result for him. The only disappointing thing being that he was leading with 800m to go but just didn’t have the speed. At least he’s got another stage to try again.

Thijssen in the early attack and then finishing 12th on the stage is nice work from the youngster.

Martin and the rest stayed out of trouble and near the front.
Nice sprint by Maksimov and good work from the team, it seems in this year we are better in the sprint stages then the sprint races (i look at you LoCicero) Smile
bruh moment. Einhorn babyyyyyy WHAT A RIDER
Manager of the greatest team in the world
DK Žalgiris
In terms of the result, not that bad, in terms of sprint preparation, improvement necessary. Nice to see Esmaeli getting a bit of camera time
Manager of Minions
Woho! Grin Although I hoped Perera would be up there, I didn't really think he would be fast enough to pull off a stage win, but here we are! Smile Perfect positioning and timing from the lad and a fantastic start to the race.

Thanks for the congratulations!
I hadn't really noticed there being a yellow jersey curse for sprinters, but looking at Perera here and thinking back to situations of Guarnieri being in yellow in the past, it makes so much sense. Definitely seems like the game treats Perera as a GC rider, looking at how he just sits on a teammates wheel while the trains are formed and until the final kilometer.

Anyway, perhaps a good thing for Monsalve's chances that Perera isn't in yellow anymore, so overall I don't mind this result Pfft
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