Well in the end it was a tight affair on the Arabian tarmac, with Peter Velits taking the win by just a single second from Vincenzo Nibali. However, in the Tour of Oman Fantasy Cycling competition it was won at a canter by team Flahutes. They hit the front with a stage-topping 181 points on stage 2, and never looked back; in the end 152 points on stage 6 gave them a total of 1,044 and a margin of victory of a massive 98 points; that's an astonishing average of 174 points a stage. Chapeau! Team msag people rolled in second on 946 points and team Fredtastic nipped on to the podium at the expense of Team Mikaela thanks to a 141-point haul on the last day.
Winner of the last stage was team Tuffmonkey's Tuffnuts; picking the 1-2-3-4 of Kittel, Sagan, Farrar and Galimzyanov helped a lot on the way to 172 points.
In the purists' league it was team Champions that ruled the roost in Oman with a team that very much came good on the last stage, netting 168 points. That was enough for a 47-point margin of victory over team To be pure or not to be pure, that is the question, the first time that they haven't been top of a purist competition this year. two firsts and a second is pretty good form for the season long game though and they're miles out in front on the purists' overall table with a lead of over 300 points.
The overall table is currently headed up by team rjl (2399 points), winners of the Tour of Qatar, with past winners team black men (2345 points) running well in second and team heninski (2305 points) completing the podium.
Next up: Paris-Nice, 4 March
You've all been working hard, so have a couple of weeks off. Fantasy Cycling will return with the Paris-Nice, starting on 4 March and offering some really testing selection headaches. Starting with an individual time trial, the eight stage race will traverse some pretty hilly terrain on the way to the south. There's two summit finishes, a longer shallow one on stage three up to the Lac de Vassivière, and a shorter, sharper one to Mende on stage five. To finish it all off stage eight is a mountain time trial, starting in Nice and heading up to the 501m Col d'Èze, so there'll be most likely be a shake-up of the GC right at the end to factor in. It should all make for a very interesting week of racing before the Spring Classics. See you then!
Prize winners for Tour of Oman
Stage 1: Festina (cgipryan)
Stage 2: flahutes (slh40)
Stage 3: TurningSquares (Jamespion)
Stage 4: 62 SPLITTIE FUND (STEVESPRO 79)
Stage 5: The Peloton Pundit (a7081543)
Stage 6: Tuffmonkey's Tuffnuts (Tuffmonkey1908)
Overall: flahutes (slh40)
2nd: msag people (msag)
3rd: Fredtastic (Aapje)
Purist: Champions (arsene)
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.