• Australian Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data) at the start of Stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under on January 17, 2019 in Uraidla, Australia. (Getty) (Getty Images AsiaPac)Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Aussie cyclist Ben O'Connor is eyeing off the Green Mountain stage, and a little bit more.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Team Dimension Data
15 Feb 2019 - 9:06 AM  UPDATED 15 Feb 2019 - 9:38 AM

Van Avermaet lines up for Tour of Oman
On the back of taking his first win of the season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Greg Van Avermaet will next head to the 16-21 February Tour of Oman.

While the race is traditionally one for the puncheurs, the Dimension Data climber senses opportunity on the penultimate stage up the 5.7km, 10.5 per cent climb.

“My approach to Green Mountain will be to be relaxed and let the legs do the talking," the 23-year-old said.

"It’s a super steep climb so you’re not going to be able to hide, you’re not going to be canny, you’ve just got to have faith in the training and the ability that you’ve done before.

"It’s the first mountain-top finish of the year and my shape over the last two or three weeks has really started to pick up so I’m excited."

Daily highlights and reports from the 2019 Tour of Oman will be available on Cycling Central.

But O'Connor also has deeper ambitions for the race. 

"I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I’d love to try and aim for the young rider's jersey and then see what kind of placing we can get from there. So yeah, I’m ready to try.”

His team also has Ryan Gibbons and Enrico Gasparotto for other options that might pop-up during the six-stage tour. 

O'Connor said in a recent newsletter he will focus on Giro redemption in 2019 after crashing out of the race and the top 10 overall on Stage 19. 

"Crashing out of the Giro d’Italia in the top 10 still sucks," he wrote. "I wanted to finish and get that number, but being up there in my first Grand Tour is something I’ll take with me into the future. 

"This season is all about the Giro d’Italia again. Can we get redemption? I'll be looking to do the same kind of result but finish it this time."