UCI Cycling Gala will return to Abu Dhabi

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Winners from last year's event.

This end-of-season celebration of the year’s greatest achievements in professional cycling will happen on 18 October.

It occurs two days before the Abu Dhabi Tour, the four-stage professional cycling race organised by the UAE capital’s sports council.

“We are honoured to host the UCI Cycling Gala again. It will be a fantastic celebration of this year’s cycling season while honouring the champions in their long ride to Abu Dhabi,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council’s general secretary.

“ With three main cycling events in the same week, the Abu Dhabi Tour will be in the spotlight of the entire sports world.”

Prizes will be awarded to athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout the season.

The UCI Cycling Gala will also be the official debut of the newly-crowned UCI Road World Champion, who will have earned the title just two days earlier, on 16 October.

“I am pleased that the UCI Cycling Gala returns to Abu Dhabi and I am thankful to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the United Arab Emirates Cycling Federation for their support,” added UCI President Brian Cookson.

“Just days after the UCI Road World Championships in Doha, Qatar, and on the eve of the Abu Dhabi Tour, we could not have found a better moment to celebrate the very best of men and women’s road cycling in 2016.”

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How it happened: Chris Froome's historic victory

Britain’s Chris Froome won his third Tour de France on Sunday to confirm his status as one of the all-time greats on the world’s most gruelling race.

Froome finished with an almost three-minute advantage over Frenchman Romain Bardet with Nairo Quintana, the runner-up in 2013 and 2015, third.

Here, we look at five key moments in his historic win.

DEFLATEGATE

With the top contenders watching each other like hawks and generally remaining close together, young Briton Adam Yates took a rare opportunity to streak clear and steal a few seconds on the seventh stage.

But his progress was halted in stunning fashion as the inflatable archway indicating the final kilometre collapsed on him. A fan had accidentally dislodged a pin and the arch came crashing down, knocking Yates off his bike and leaving him with a bloody chin.

DARING DESCENT

Arguably the eighth stage was the one which set the tone for what was to follow as Froome demonstrated a never-before-seen dexterity. The renowned time-trialler and climber proved just as agile on a breakneck descent to the finish of the stage in Bagneres-de-Luchon.

He attacked over the top of the final climb and while Nairo Quintana, his expected main rival, hesitated, Froome adopted an awkward, crouched position while pedalling furiously to snatch 23 seconds from his challengers, winning the stage and the yellow jersey.

TAMING THE WIND

Froome consolidated not only his lead in the race but his growing reputation as the complete rider as he broke away alongside world champion Peter Sagan in the final 12km of the 11th stage.

“All day my team-mates protected me, right to the end of the stage. When I saw Sagan go away I thought, ‘I have to follow him and maybe together we can get there’,” said Froome. He predictably lost the sprint finish to Sagan but his mastery of the perilous crosswinds allowed him to snare another 12 more seconds.

RUNNING MAN

The image which will ensure this Tour lingers long in the memory is that of the yellow-shirted Froome running, bike-less, to the finish line on the iconic Mont Ventoux.

Pandemonium reigned in the final kilometre of the 12th stage as encroaching fans blocked the road to the finish, forcing a photographer’s motorbike to stop short.

Richie Porte crashed into the back of it, with Froome and Bauke Mollema following suit. His bike was broken but not his champion’s spirit. He simply set off on foot until a replacement bike could be proffered.

GERAINT’S BICYCLE

A rare moment of drama for Froome, potentially more penalising than his fall on Ventoux. Froome hit the deck again, this time on a slippery descent as rain fell on the 19th stage. But again he didn’t panic, and Thomas came to his aid, handing over his bicycle for Froome to ride the final 25km to the finish, bloodied and bruised.

He lost a handful of seconds to fellow rivals but actually gained time on Mollema, thus again, despite adversity, extending his lead.

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Froome, who was also champion in 2013 and last year, finished ahead of Frenchman Romain Bardet in second and Nairo Quintana of Colombia in third.

For Greipel, who pipped world champion Peter Sagan on the line with Alexander Kristoff third, it was a second successive victory on the final stage and 11th stage win in total.

Froome crossed the line, as he has done before, arm-in-arm with his Sky team-mates stretched out across the road, clad in a special kit in which their usual blue stripe was replaced by a yellow one.

Such was the ease of this, Froome’s most dominant victory yet, that he could even afford to trundle home, losing time to his nearest challengers, safe in the knowledge he had started the day with more than four minutes to play with.

In a typically frantic sprint finish, Greipel timed his charge to perfection.

He took Kristoff’s wheel and darted out at the right time to save his Tour.

Having won four stages last year, he had yet to taste victory this time until Sunday as Mark Cavendish, who quit the race to focus on the Olympics earlier this week, dominated the sprints, winning four stages.

Sagan, typically finished fastest but he left his push a fraction too late and failed to add to his three stage wins this year — his best return at the Tour.

Yet he still won the sprinters’ green points jersey, for the fifth year in a row, at a canter.

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