The UCI World Tour peloton heads to the United Arab Emirates this weekend for the inaugural edition of the 7-stage UAE Tour, starting on Sunday.
After a successful opening World Tour campaign in Australia, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will look to improve on our World Tour ranking with another strong performance at the UAE Tour.
The UAE Tour offers something for all types of riders with 3 sprint stages, 2 big mountain summit finishes, 1 punchy stage and a team time trial that will get the race underway.
Our riders to watch
Mark Cavendish – Making his return to racing at the Vuelta a San Juan in Argentina, the UAE Tour with its 3 sprint stages, will provide another great opportunity for the Manxman to get that race feeling in a region where he really enjoys racing.
Amanuel Ghebrigzabhier – While Louis Meintjes and Roman Kreuziger are names that immediately spring to mind when considering our GC options, Ghebreigzabhier’s incredible neo-pro season last year proved that he should be one to watch closely this season.
I look forward to start the season in UAE. For me, coming from the off-season in Eritrea, UAE Tour is a good race to start with nice weather. This year, they have joined the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tour’s and I think this will make for a nice race. The route looks very nice and many of the top riders in the world are now coming to UAE, so it will be a hard race. I look forward to riding with Cav & Louis and all the guys again, we can have a good week together. – Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier
Stage 3 – While the opening team time trial will certainly set an early tone for the overall GC, the summit finish at the top of Jebel Hafeet will be where the big-name GC contenders will look to make a definitive move.
Stage 7 – There are a number of sprint stages at the UAE Tour and with a host of the world’s top sprinters on the startlist, we should be in for a treat. We look to the final stage where much of the final 80km takes place along the coastline, meaning crosswinds could well be more of a factor than the perfect leadout.