Mark Cavendish, Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador, will be in good company when the Abu Dhabi Tour kicks off at The Liwa from October 8 to 11.
The first edition of the UAE capital race will be honoured by the presence of the best World Tour teams and some of the biggest stars of the 2015 season, including the recent winner of the Vuelta a Espana, Fabio Aru, his teammate Vincenzo Nibali and the leader of the 2015 UCI ranking, Alejandro Valverde.
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Racing for the BMC Racing Team will be the former World Champion Philippe Gilbert; Team Katusha will be led by Joaquin “Purito” Rodriguez who is currently second overall in the UCI World ranking; the sprinters will be well represented by, of course, Cavendish (Etixx-Quick Step) and German Marcel Kittel (Team Giant-Alpecin).
Five great puncheurs – Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Richie Porte (Team Sky), Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant – Alpecin) – will also be bidding for victory.
Asia is represented by Chinese riders Ji Cheng (Team Giant-Alpecin) and Xu Gang (Lampre-Merida), while Colombian Carlos Quintero represents South America.
Riders from all over the globe will kick off the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour.
Commenting on Abu Dhabi Tour starting list, Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) said: “Abu Dhabi Tour has the will to become a reference in the international calendar. Big names and the best teams, including seven squads from the Velon group, assure an amazing competition across the four stages to attract the gaze of the world’s media”.
As a class 2.1 race, 18 teams (including 10 WorldTeams and 5 Professional Continental teams) consisting of 6 riders will race the Abu Dhab Tour. These teams and their lead riders are:
ASTANA PRO TEAM (KAZ) – Nibali, Aru
BMC RACING TEAM (USA) – Gilbert
BORA-ARGON 18 (GER) – Buchmann
COLOMBIA (COL) – Quintero
DRAPAC PROFESSIONAL CYCLING (AUS) – Brown
ETIXX – QUICK STEP (BEL) – Cavendish
LAMPRE – MERIDA (ITA) – Ulissi, Xu Gang
MOVISTAR TEAM (ESP) – Valverde
MTN – QHUBEKA (RSA) – Teklehaimanot
ORICA GreenEDGE (AUS) – Matthews, Chaves
SKYDIVE DUBAI PRO CYCLING TEAM – AL AHLI CLUB (UAE) – Al Murawwi
TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN (GER) – Kittel, Dumoulin, Ji Cheng
TEAM KATUSHA (RUS) – Rodriguez
TEAM SKY (GBR) – Porte
TEAM WIGGINS (GBR) – Patten
TINKOFF – SAXO (RUS) – Sagan
UAE NATIONAL TEAM – Yousif Mirza
UNITEDHEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL CYCLING TEAM (USA) – Brajkovic
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