As part of the 46th National Day celebrations, this weekend sees the inaugural Abu Dhabi-Al Ain Classic take place with the 175km race, starting at the ADNOC HQ building on the Corniche, Abu Dhabi and finishing in the stunning surroundings of Al Jahili Park, Al Ain on Sunday 3rd December.
The Race will see over 100 amateur and professional cyclists take part with professional cyclists in the peloton including former road world champion Mark Cavendish, UCI Pro Tour Lotto-Soudal rider Adam Hansen as well as 3 of UAE Team Emirates decorated cyclists: Roberto Ferrari, Manuele Mori and Emirati cycling star Yousif Mirza.
The ceremonial start will take place from the Corniche in front of the Adnoc Headquarters before officially starting the race on Sheikh Khalifa Bridge.
The first section of the race follows the Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Highway, passing by Yas Island then onto the Al Reef and Al Falah areas. The peloton then join the E20 towards Sweihan and Nahel taking the E95 towards Al Ain finishing in the stunning surroundings of Al Jahili Park.
Commenting on the weekend’s race, His Excellency Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club said: “We are very much looking forward to the inaugural Abu Dhabi Al Ain Classic. We hope that this can become one of the UAE’s great races in time and we are delighted to see the quality of both professional and amateur entries.
“The Classic and the Family Cycling Festival are great ways for Abu Dhabi Cycling Club to be a part of the UAE’s 46th National Day celebrations and we wish all cyclists in both events a successful and safe rides.”
UAE Team Emirates rider Yousif Mirza added: “It is an honour to be cycling in this new race in Abu Dhabi on National Day weekend. I am really looking forward to racing in the Classic against fellow pros as well as many amateur cyclists from the local community.”
Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President of Platinum Partner Etisalat, said: “We are thrilled to partner on the inaugural cycling event, the Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Classic. It’s very exciting to be involved in this first of its kind cycling event in the UAE and we hope that this will help grow the sport locally and help promote healthy lifestyles.”
Former road world champion Mark Cavendish will compete in the first edition of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic.
The event, which will begin in Abu Dhabi on Sunday December 3rd 2017, will see 200 riders feature in the 180km race.
Hosted by Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the exciting new Classic is the first of its kind to take place in the UAE and pays homage to the great classic races of Europe.
Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, said: “We’re delighted that Abu Dhabi Cycling Club’s first event will be the Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Classic. Our riders are excited to compete alongside some of the best in the world and it’s a fantastic development for cycling in the UAE. The course will provide everyone with a unique challenge between both cities.”
Cavendish, who also has 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name, is the event ambassador and will be one of several notable international riders in the peloton that will work its way from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain.
The 32-year-old commented: “I’m really looking forward to playing a part in the first Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic. The event is a fantastic new initiative within cycling and it’s a privilege to be involved.”
Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “The Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic is a significant new race for us. Not only will it bring internationally recognised athletes to compete in Abu Dhabi, but also provide a development platform for our own riders and particularly Abu Dhabi Cycling Club.
“We’re delighted that the event will be hosted by Mark Cavendish, who is a great ambassador for both his sport and our Emirate. The combination of the Classic and the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival is unique and ADSC are thrilled that these new events will be attractive to all levels of cyclists.”
The event will incorporate the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival, which will take place at the finish of the Classic in Al Ain. The festival will work to promote health and fitness by providing families with the opportunity to cycle together on 800m circuits for free.
The Classic is strictly limited to 200 places by invitation only, but riders can register their interest online. To find out more information please visit: www.cyclealain.com
Their back tyre is still on the roads of the 2017 season, but UAE Team Emirates insist their front one is very much sprinting towards the 2018 campaign.
A team meeting was held in Lugano this week where team officials started laying the foundations for next year and beginning all the preparatory work that goes into it.
During the team meeting, announcements were made regarding the technical staff, which will call on members from four different countries to lead UAE Team Emirates next season. Italian Paolo Tiralongo comes on board as assistant sports director.
He will be joined by compatriots Marco Marzano, Daniele Righi, Mario Scirea and Bruno Vicino, with Joxean Matxin (Spain), Philippe Mauduit (France) and Simone Pedrazzini (Switzerland) completing the management team.
The new UAE Team Emirates riders’ roster for 2018 has already been shaken up with the acquisition of Italy’s Fabio Aru, the 2015 Vuelta a Espana champion from Astana, as well as Ireland’s Daniel Martin from Quick-Step, who has stage wins at the Tour de France and the Vuelta, in addition to twotime Tour de France stage winner Alexander Kristoff.
Team manager Carlo Sarroni said: “After our first year, during which we showcased the skills of the riders who were already in our roster, we tried to sign top riders for next season who could compete for top results in the major Tours.
“The most important feedback from 2017 is that the team was competitive throughout the season and that our riders demonstrated their passion in every race. “We all learnt that we are representing a nation, the UAE, and this means that we have a responsibility every time we are wearing the team’s colours. It gives us extra motivation. A victory in a major Tour is the goal we are aiming for.”
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) November 1, 2017