Following on from the cancellation of the fifth stage of the Tour of Oman, Eddy Merckx spoke of his disappointment with the attitude of the riders.

Amongst those behind the protest were Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara, who felt that the temperatures were too high. It was over 40 degrees Celsius that day. The riders were due to face a 151.5km race from Al Sawadi Beach to the Ministry of Housing.

The race was initially neutralised and during that section, the extreme heat caused some of the riders’ tyres to explode, and their brakes were said to be not working properly.

“If you find anything too dangerous, you have to choose another sport” Merckx who was in Oman as race director told Sporza. “When it rains in Paris-Roubaix, is it too dangerous?” he asked.

Prior to the start of the last stage, Merckx had a meeting with the Minister of Sports of Oman. Merckx said afterwards, “they have informed me that they will consider not inviting a few teams after the action of yesterday”


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