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Mark Cavendish, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and the Rio gold medalists Greg Van Avermaet, Elia Viviani and Bradley Wiggins among the starters

Photo: A.S.O.

ABU DHABI TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
20.09.2016 @ 23:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

This year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the four-stage professional cycling race organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) in collaboration with RCS Sport, will cover 555km over its four-day run from 20 to 23 October.

 

The race which brings the international season to a close just a few days after the 16 October World Championships and 18 October UCI Cycling Gala, will start with two flat stages dedicated to sprinters, followed by a mountain stage, where climbers and puncheurs will fight for general classification. The grand finale is once again confirmed for the iconic Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit.

 

And the official new competitor jerseys, that will debut in exactly one month’s time on the podium in Madinat Zayed, chosen for the start and finish of the first stage, have now been unveiled. The jerseys reproduce the colours of the UAE flag and are sponsored by ADSC for the leader's red jersey and Etihad Airways for the black intermediate sprints. New jersey sponsors Nation Towers take green for the points classification while Abu Dhabi Sports Channel gets behind the white for the best young rider.

 

 

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, ADSC’s General Secretary, said: 

 

“We have aimed for the highest standards of accommodation, logistics and sporting competition which is now reflected in the calibre of the teams invited and the riders expected at the start.

"The success of the Abu Dhabi Tour has been recognised by the fact that this annual sporting event will join the UCI WorldTour calendar in February 2017. In addition to the race and the UCI Cycling Gala, we are cultivating several side projects for the development of cycling in schools and among the young. The short-term goal is still to become a world class event but the longer-term focus is to spread the cycling culture, to inspire people into healthy and active lifestyles.

“We would like to thank all those who contribute to the event, including the UAE Cycling Federation, Abu Dhabi Police, the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and the towns which will host the stages.”

 

Abu Dhabi Tour 2016 boasts a fast-balanced route alternating between the desert and the sea, and from the mountains to the city. Under the spotlight in the first and third stages are the famous oases of Liwa and Al Ain. The UAE capital is the star of the second stage and takes in the city’s most famous landmarks, from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, across Saadiyat Island, the Corniche, and Khalifa City. The challenging roadway up Al Ain’s Jabel Hafeet Mountain, the second highest in the UAE, will be decisive for stage three. The Grand Finale at the famous F1 Yas Marina Circuit, where cyclists ride twice a week on the free ‘TrainYas’ programme, will see the peloton complete 26 laps of 5.5km each, before the final sprint to the podium.

 

ROUTE INFORMATION

 

Stage 01 – THE ADNOC STAGE / MADINAT ZAYED – MADINAT ZAYED (147 KM)

Stage
The first stage runs entirely into the desert, with the first and last parts of about 45km on straight, wide roads. Once in Liwa, first Intermediate Sprint riders will find a short circuit characterised by constant undulations over dunes, adding up to a significant total elevation. After a second Intermediate Sprint passage in Liwa, the second part of the stage takes the riders to Madinat Zayed, where, after one pass of the finish line, a final 14.5km circuit will conclude the stage.

Last km
A city path with only three proper bends, one to the right and two to the left (the final bend being to the left). The last kms are on wide, straight boulevards, punctuated by wide-curved roundabouts. The final km is straight on asphalt.

Stage 02 – THE NATION TOWERS STAGE / ABU DHABI – ABU DHABI (Al Marina) (115 KM)
Stage
The second stage is mostly in the city. After the start, the peloton will travel on wide roads towards the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and then towards Yas Island with a passage through Khalifa City, where there are several roundabouts and speed humps. After the Yas Island first Intermediate Sprint, the race goes to the Sheikh Zayed bin Highway towards Abu Dhabi Corniche. It follows a route within Reem Island – including the second Intermediate Sprint – then returns to the Corniche finish line. The entire route is on wide boulevards with road furniture constantly dividing the lanes.

Last km
The final 5km are on increasingly large roads with large semi-curves leading to the straight finish on asphalt.

Stage 03 – THE STRATA STAGE / AL AIN – JEBEL HAFEET (150 KM)
Stage
The third stage comprises both urban surroundings and mountains. The first part, inside Al Ain city, is all on wide roads with roundabouts and speed humps and is followed by a second part in the desert along wide and predominantly straight roads. At 15km to go, the route starts to rise slightly towards the final ascent, culminating in an uphill finish at an altitude of 1025m, following an 11km climb with slopes with an 11% gradient.

Last km
The final climb is on wide-ranging bends on a three-lane roadway. The gradient is mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% at 3km to go. There are short descents in the last kilometres before the final ramp with a straight finish on asphalt.

Stage 04 - THE YAS ISLAND STAGE / YAS MARINA CIRCUIT (143 KM)
Stage
The final stage is entirely on Yas Island. There are 26 laps on the F1 Yas Marina circuit, each of 5.5km with three Intermediate Sprints as we count down to the finale. The first Intermediate Sprint is at lap 11, with 15 laps to go; the second at 10 laps to go and the last Intermediate Sprints with just five laps to go.

 

Last year during the Yas Island Stage, for the first time ever in a men's professional road race, live on-board bike camera footage was made available and used for live television race coverage.

 

Last km
On the perfect tarmac of a 5.5km Formula 1 circuit with wide roads and large, sweeping bends. The final 250 metres are on straight, flat asphalt.

 

THE JERSEYS
Four stages, four days of competition and the four colours of the UAE flag inspired the four different jerseys that the classification leaders will wear after every stage. Let’s start with the most prestigious jersey, the red of GC leader. The leader's jersey will be sponsored by ADSC. Last year the red jersey was won by the first winner of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the Colombian Esteban Chaves. Second, in order of importance, it’s the green Points Classification jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers and won in 2015 by the Italian Elia Viviani.

 

The black jersey for the Intermediate Sprint competition, won last year by the Italian Alessandro Bazzana, will again be sponsored by Etihad Airways. The Best Young Rider Classification Leader, born after January 1, 1991, will be awarded the white jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, which is also confirmed as the race host broadcaster. The jerseys are designed and made by the iconic brand Castelli and are cut in a close-to-the-body anatomical shape for maximum aerodynamic performance when the peloton head into dusty crosswind sections.

 

TEAMS

Alongside the official route and jerseys presentation of the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, scheduled from 20 to 23 October 2016 - the list of the 18 teams invited to the race has been officially announced. 
 
Eleven UCI WorldTour teams (eight of those members of the Velon group), four UCI Professional Continental Teams and three UCI Continental Teams will be at the start of the four-stage professional cycling race organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council that, from 2017, will join the WorldTour Calendar. 
 
Mark Cavendish, Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador, said: “I really look forward for the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour. As Official Ambassador, of course, but also as a rider: this year my shoulders are fine and I definitively want to race and try to get a stage win and possibly wear a jersey. See you in one month!”

 

Vincenzo Nibali, welcomed the announcement, saying: "I am very happy to come back to Abu Dhabi after last year’s experience. I well remember the spectacle of the desert and the emotion of the final stage, with the Yas Marina F1 circuit looking spectacular under the lights. The first Abu Dhabi Tour was a memorable race with a perfect route and a very challenging mountain stage.”

 

UCI WorldTeams
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ)
BMC RACING TEAM (USA)
LAMPRE-MERIDA (ITA)
LOTTO SOUDAL (BEL)
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP)
ORICA-BIKEEXCHANGE (AUS)
TEAM DIMENSION DATA (RSA)
TEAM GIANT - ALPECIN (GER)
TEAM SKY (GBR)
TINKOFF (RUS)
TREK-SEGAFREDO (USA) 

UCI Professional Continental Teams
CCC SPRANDI POLKOWICE (POL)
GAZPROM-RUSVELO (RUS)
ONE PRO CYCLING (GBR)
WILIER TRIESTINA - SOUTHEAST (ITA)

UCI Continental Teams
NASR DUBAI (UAE)
MINSK CYCLING CLUB (BLR)
TEAM WIGGINS (GBR)

Each team at the start of the Abu Dhabi Tour will consist of six riders.

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