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New contract for Rein Taaramäe, who starts his season in Oman

Estonian climber Rein Taaramäe, who wrote history for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux several times in 2021, extended his contract with the Belgian World Team until the end of 2023. The stage winner of the latest Tour of Spain became the first rider of the team to wear the leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. In June, he was already the first rider of the team to win the national title in the time trial discipline. 

At the age of 34, Taaramäe will start his second season with the team of Jean-François Bourlart, his fifteenth as a professional rider, in the Tour of Oman (2.Pro, 10-15/02). After two years of absence, the event in the sultanate of the Middle East returns on the calendar with a six day race.

The sprinters have three opportunities to battle for the stage win, in the first stage towards capital Muscat, in the second one towards former capital Sohar and in the closing stage finishing in Matrah. Next to the crosswinds, differences in the individual classification can be made on the explosive final in Qurayyat (2.8km at 6.5%) on day three, in the hilly fourth stage with three repetitions of the Boushar Al Amerat (4km at 6.6%) and in the queen stage towards the Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) (6km at 9.9%) the next day.

Just like Taaramäe, Jan Hirt will start his 2022 season with a second participation in the Tour of Oman. Belgian riders Tom Devriendt and Kévin Van Melsen, Danish rider Julius Johansen and Frenchman Hugo Page complete the line up under the direction of Valerio Piva.

« Thanks to Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux and its passionate staff, I became myself again. Five years after my last Grand Tour stage win, I managed to repeat this performance in 2021. In sports, each aspect has to be perfect to be able to keep performing year after year. Concerning myself, the support of the direction was key in overcoming my career slump. I gained confidence thanks to the long term plan of Aike Visbeek, and under the direction of Valerio Piva I became a Grand Tour leader for the first time in my career, at the age of 34. I want to continue chasing succes in 2022 and win races. It doesn’t matter which ones, as each victory is big on this level. I also want to perform in support of Louis Meintjes and play a role in the development of young talents such as Kobe Goossens. I expect to be ready for the start of the season, as I feel better as twelve months ago. I just finished three weeks of altitude camp in Rwanda, where I managed to execute all training plans. The battle for the general classification in the Tour of Oman is a nice first challenge. »

« Rein Taaramäe gained confidence within our team and found renewed pleasure, which was translated in good performances last season. His talent is widely acknowledged and with the help of our trainers and sports dietitians he managed to exploit his potential and extend his palmares. Just like Louis Meintjes, Rein proves that Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux offers the riders an environment in which they feel well and can perform at their best. I’m convinced that we will experience more nice moments with Rein Taaramäe. »

Tour of Oman:
Stage 1
(10/02): Al Rustaq – Oman Exhibition & Convention Center (138,1 km) 
Stage 2 (11/02): Naseem Garden – Sohar Corniche (167,3 km)
Stage 3 (12/02): Sultan Qaboos University – Qurayyat (180,1 km)
Stage 4 (13/02): Al Sifah – Muscat Royal Opera (119,3 km) 
Stage 5 (14/02): Sama’il – Jabal Al Akhdhar (154,2 km) 
Stage 6 (15/02): Al Mouj – Matrah Corniche (132,3 km) 



General Classification


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