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“Our challenge is to be one of the top races in the world. There is no end of possibilities and no end to the dream. If you can organise four stages, it’s not more difficult to organise more than 12 stages.”

Photo: Dubai Tour

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11.02.2015 @ 19:30 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Ahead of the 2017 UCI WorldTour reforms, RCS and the Dubai Sports Council, the organisers of the Dubai Tour, have stated their interest in seeing the race become a World Tour event that could fill the gap between the Tour Down Under and Paris-Nice. The race is currently 2.HC.

 

“Part of the WorldTour? Why not?” Saeed Hareb, head of the Dubai Sports Council, said in a final press conference after the race.

“Our challenge is to be one of the top races in the world. There is no end of possibilities and no end to the dream. If you can organise four stages, it’s not more difficult to organise more than 12 stages.”

 

“We are not in a hurry, but we want to grow. As regards how, where and when, I think that we need more experience and we need to give our people here time to be in a position where they are ready to take on 10 or 12 stages.”

 

While the cost of getting to Dubai as well as getting equipment over there is difficult, teams are willing to do it as they have the Tours of Qatar and Oman over the next two weeks after the Dubai Tour ends. RCS clearly think the race deserves to be WorldTour:

 

“I know the UCI is talking to riders, teams and organisers but some of the criteria are already clear: they include rider safety, the quality of TV production, and the quality of hospitality. If you put these all of these in an Excel spreadsheet and compare them to other races, I think the Dubai Tour has the right to claim a WorldTour place,” Lorenzo Giorgetti, CEO of RCS Sports and Events in the UAE, said.

 

“Cycling is growing tremendously in Dubai. It's profile is different to that in traditional cycling countries, it's considered the new golf. The presence of his Sheikh Mohammed Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai at the finish of stage 2 was very significant. He told the Arab media that Dubai was happy to welcome riders from so many different countries because it wants to be considered one of the most welcoming and tolerant countries in the Islamic world that believes in integration and the success of the region.”

 

The racing maybe isn’t as exzciting as the Tours of Qatar, with its crosswinds and daily classics battles, or Oman, with its uphill climbs, but Dubai is a great race to watch visually and the uphill sprint to the 17% Hatta Dam showed the races potential. Will the event be WorldTour? This is something we will find out at the end of next season, when the UCI announced their reforms to be put in place in 2017.

 

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