The UCI World Tour continues this weekend, as the 7-stage UAE Tour gets underway on Sunday, in Dubai.
It was a welcomed decision by the UCI World Tour peloton to have the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tour’s join last year, creating the well-rounded UAE Tour. With 4 stages for the sprinters, the Hatta Dam stage providing an option for the puncheurs and two summit finish’s up to Jebel Hafeet, we can expect an exciting race.
The favourable Emarati weather has attracted a strong field once again and NTT Pro Cycling has made sure to line up with a team that can compete on all fronts.
Max Walscheid, who picked up 2 sprint victories at the Tour de Langkawi last week, will be our sprint hope for the 4 flat UAE Tour stages. He will again be able to count on his Langkawi leadout man, Michael Carbel. The UAE Tour will be a World Tour debut race for the Danish fast man.
Victor Campenaerts will also make his much awaited debut in NTT Pro Cycling colours and his diesel engine together with that of Jay Thomson’s, provides us with an ample supply of watts for the many kilometers of open & exposed roads.
For the climbing day’s and GC classification, Domenico Pozzovivo is eagerly looking forward to tackling the Jebel Hafeet summit finishes on stages 3 and 5. The Italian will no doubt have Danilo Wyss and Stefan de Bod close at hand when the road heads upward.
What To Watch
The numerous long and straight desert roads may seem like a monotonous landscape to the unknowing viewer, but some of the most exciting echelon racing occurs in the desert crosswinds. The peloton will be on high alert from the opening kilometer each day, as the wind is set to play a key role at the UAE Tour once again.
I am really looking forward to my first race with NTT Pro Cycling. I am already perfectly adapted to the expected heat at the UAE Tour, after my recent 6 weeks of preparation in Namibia.