UAE Team Emirates will embark on their second UCI World Tour season this week, heading to Australia as the team tackle the Santos Tour Down Under from January 16-21.
Representing the UAE colours and making his Santos Tour Down Under debut, is former World Champion, Rui Costa, alongside teammates Matteo Bono, Simone Consonni, Roberto Ferrari, Marco Marcato, Manuele Mori and Diego Ulissi, the latter producing some of the strongest displays for UAE Team Emirates in the team’s 2017 debut season.
The Santos Tour Down Under was first staged in 1999 and became a prestigious UCI World Tour event in 2008 becoming the first race to be staged outside of cycling’s traditional European home.
This year marks the 20th anniversary for the race, now synonymous with riders looking to get their campaign off to a winning start and pick up the seasons’ first honours.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) January 6, 2018
Spectators can expect to see competitive rides, especially from sprint specialists who may look to make an early season statement and take advantage of the flatter roads across the opening two stages.
Stage One’s 145km route begins in the historic Port Adelaide before riders head north on the Port River Expressway to the finish in Lyndoch.
Stage Two, a 148.6km race through the Adelaide Hills will see the peloton navigate three laps of the leafy suburb of Stirling before what could be a bunched sprint finish.
Stages Three (146.5km), Four (128.2km) and Five (151.5km) will draw out the climb specialists, who will contest each stages’ Category One climb in a bid to be crowned the Subaru King of the Mountain.
The final stage will see riders compete in a short 90km route through the streets of Adelaide before finishing in front of a packed crowd opposite the iconic Adelaide Oval Cricket Ground.
Speaking ahead of the opening race of the 2018 UCI World Tour season, UAE Team Emirates’ Rui Costa said: “For the first time in my career I’ll be participating in the Tour Down Under. I’m well aware that I will end up next to riders who will already be in great shape, especially the Australians. It will be interesting to see the impact of our winter training and hopefully we will have a good pedalling rhythm. This will be the beginning of a long season for me.”
UAE Team Emirates’ Diego Ulissi commented: “Once again the 2018 season starts for me in Australia in a race where I have always experienced perfect riding conditions. The calibre of competition is going to be high, especially on the two stages with climb finishes and will serve as a good testing ground for the season ahead.”
The Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition makes its debut at the Dubai World Trade Centre next month and is gearing up to be one of the most important cycling events in the Middle East.
Held from January 12-13, the Exhibition will gather the top local and international bicycle brands, retailers, touring companies, cycling clubs from across the globe – and allow both professionals and enthusiasts to experience the latest in cycling technology and innovation.
Dubai now offers world-class services for cyclist including professional racetracks, performance cycling shops, a full event calendar of cycling races and a long list of royal family patrons.
“I strongly believe that the regional cycling community and industry have long awaited a cycling exhibition that gathers the world of cycling under one roof,” said Sheikh Faisal bin Humaid Al Qasimi, President of the Arab Cycling Federation.
“The Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition will fill this demand and greatly contribute to the growth of cycling in the Arab world.”
Plans for the exhibition began early in the year with bicycle companies from Italy, Germany, India, China, Hong Kong, Australia and the United States participating in the event.
“The aim of the Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition is to bridge the cycling worlds of Asia, Arabia and Europe in Dubai,” said Oliver Osea, Project Director, Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition.
“Just as important for us is to compliment the plans of the Dubai Government who are finalising the construction of 500km of new cycling tracks in Dubai.
“We intend to do this by creating a cycling event that will accelerate the growth of the sport and the cycling culture in Dubai, the UAE and the wider region.”
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, recently gave the green light for an additional 500km of cycling track in Dubai in October next year, which will result in over 600km of track in the emirate by 2021.
Admission to the Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition is Dh30 per day, Dh40 for a weekend pass and children under 12 can enter for free.
What: Dubai International Bicycle Exhibition
Where: Dubai World Trade Centre
When: January 12-13 from 10:00 to 22:00 on Friday and from 10:00 to 21:00 on Saturday
Contact: Visit www.dubaibicycleshow.com for more information and to get your tickets, or email [email protected]
The UAE Cycling Federation (UCF) have announced the inaugural UAE Road Cycling Championship will take place during the first quarter of 2018.
In a first for the UAE, the two-stage championship will be held on Friday January 26 in Abu Dhabi, and Friday March 9 in Dubai, and is intended to be the premier amateur cycling event on the UCF calendar.
Open to all amateur cyclists, the main categories for the inaugural Championship are: Emirati men, Emirati women, Expatriate men and Expatriate women.
Each stage will see a stage-winner with champions being crowned after the second stage in Dubai.
“We are delighted to bring the inaugural UAE Road Cycling Championships to the UAE,” said Osama Al Shafar, President UCF.
“Cycling is already a very popular sport for our Expatriate community and it has grown in incredible numbers over the past few years among Emiratis.
“The Federation understands the importance of ensuring our amateur cycling community are able to compete in professionally managed events and be recognised for their achievements, (and) we are very excited to now be able to crown UAE Champions through the UAE Road Cycling Championships.”
Organisers have also announced that a challenge event will be held for all cyclists aged 16 to 18 (years).
This will form an integral part of the inaugural Championship and where all finishers will receive medals for their efforts in taking part.
Registrations are now open for both stages, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, by visiting www.hopasports.com.