Quintana wins Tour de Romandie

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Winner: Nairo Quintana.

Colombian climber Nairo Quintana won the Tour de Romandie on Sunday after a breakaway win in the fifth and final stage from Ollon-sur-Villars to Geneva for local talent Michael Albasini.

In freezing rain an early breakaway formed and with the main contenders more concerned with keeping track of each other, Orica’s Albasini won in a sprint.

During what is seen as a warm up for the Tour de France, Quintana, perhaps the sport’s best climber, moved top of the overall standings when he left the field trailing on Thursday’s second stage.

Runner-up in the 2015 Tour de France Quintana went into the this stage with a 19 second overall lead on up and coming French climber Thibaut Pinot.

Pinot managed second overall, while Quintana’s Movistar teammate Ion Izagirre came third.

Pinot, also a climb specialist, sent out a warning, however, by posting the quickest time in Friday’s timetrial, faster even than Sky leader Chris Froome.

The Briton saw his chances of overall victory blown by a puncture, but saved face with a solo mountain stage win on Saturday.

Dutch hope Tom Dumoulin, who came close to winning the Tour of Spain last year, was fifth, while American all-rounder Tejay Van Garderen of Team BMC was 10th.

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ADSC capitalising on cycling boom with set up of new club

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Wheels in motion: Aref Al Awani.

On the heels of staging the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour last October, the ADSC is keen on capitalising on the rapidly rising interest in cycling in the capital and hope that the new Abu Dhabi Cycling Club will push the sport forward both on the professional and recreational levels.

“We are in the final stages of creating a club in Abu Dhabi for cycling,” ADSC secretary general Aref Al Awani told Sport360.

“It will be dedicated to the sport. It will start as an amateur club but the goal is to have a professional team come out of it. We’re hoping it opens this year. It is already in the works and it will be under the Abu Dhabi Sports Council umbrella.”

Two professional cycling teams have already come out of Dubai in the past two years – Skydive Dubai-Al Ahli Club and Al Nasr-Dubai – while the UAE will have its first cyclist at the Olympics since 1988 when Yousif Mirza takes part in the Rio Games this summer.

Three professional cycling stage races take place annually in the UAE – Dubai Tour, Abu Dhabi Tour and Sharjah International Cycling Tour – while the capital also hosts the end-of-year UCI Awards Gala.

Asked whether a women’s cycling event could soon turn up on the Abu Dhabi sports calendar, Al Awani said: “Insha’Allah. We have started with golf, this year we’ll have a ladies’ golf tournament for the first time. But we’re looking into cycling as well.

“We want to have women involved in every sport and every field.

“We’re big supporters of women’s sport, whether in football, jiu-jitsu, now golf, so cycling is definitely next. But that’s still being studied by the Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak Academy, because that is our subsidiary dedicated to women’s sport.”

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Abu Dhabi Tour gains interest at TrainYAS event

Sport360 staff 27/04/2016
The TrainYAS event took place this Tuesday.

The appearance of the three important individuals promoting cycling in the UAE capital followed the announcement by the Abu Dhabi Tour that it was looking to upgrade the event to WorldTour status.

Later this year, in October, cyclists from around the world will be taking part in the Abu Dhabi Tour 2016, which had its inaugural race last year and enjoyed huge all-round success.

Other guests were also present at the TrainYAS event, which takes place every Tuesday and gives people access to the famed F1 circuit track for free – whether you want to cycle or run.

The 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour title, which was part of the UCI Asia Tour, was won by Esteban Chaves.

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