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23 Jan 2018
Nation Towers sponsors city stage of Abu Dhabi Tour 2018
Abu Dhabi, 23 January 2018 – To be more important, more international and more interesting; it’s these three things that the new Abu Dhabi Tour is focused on, and the 2018 edition perfectly encapsulates the aim of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), organizer of the race in collaboration with RCS Sport under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Mark Cavendish is confirmed to participate, alongside some of the world’s best riders – who so far include: current Giro d’Italia champion Dutchman Tom Dumoulin from Team Sunweb, the Vuelta a España winner Italian Fabio Aru and 2017’s Abu Dhabi Tour winner, Portuguese Rui Costa both from UAE Team Emirates, among others. In addition, 17 of the 18 WorldTour teams are set to start – the vast majority of cycling’s elite teams, who together represent 15 different nations and all five continents. Meanwhile, the individual cyclists themselves will represent over 50 different nationalities as they ride from 21st to 25th February on this spectacular brand new route.
After three editions encompassing four stages, Abu Dhabi is set to unveil its new status with an extension that allows the organizers to better explore the Abu Dhabi territory, while reducing the impact of Jebel Hafeet’s ascent on the General classification.
This year, a short and fast Al Maryah Island-based individual time trial on day four will ensure the results are more uncertain with its uphill finish, ending in style, on Jebel Hafeet – a great opportunity to impact all the jerseys and the final overall race winner.
Al Maryah Island is confirmed as the Red Jersey sponsor, the most prestigious of the jerseys and worn by the leader of the General Classification by time. A warm welcome to Emirates Post, official supporter of the Green Jersey, worn by the leader of the General Classification by points. Alongside them, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel is set to sponsor the White Jersey, awarded to the best young rider born after 1st January 1993, and Etihad Airways will sponsor the Black Jersey for the Intermediate Sprint Classification.
“We’re working to make the race more appealing to fans and riders, and this upgrade represents a unique opportunity to make the challenge for the overall standings stronger and not only related to the replica omega hour vision watches mountain stage,” said H.E. Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary. He added, “In addition, we can better explore our territory and promote the country worldwide as a perfect destination for cycle tourists. I take this opportunity to thank His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council for his generous patronage of the Abu Dhabi Tour. My appreciation then goes to the Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council – His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transportation, the Municipalities, the police and traffic departments of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Madinat Zayed, the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, and of course, Mark Cavendish for being here today and since the very first Abu Dhabi Tour.”
The first three stages are dedicated to the sprinters, one to the time-trial specialists and the all-rounders and one to the climbers or puncheurs. As with last year, the peloton will ride in the desert, among the oasis, by the sea, on the islands, around the landmarks of Abu Dhabi capital city and in the mountains. The 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour has a total length of 686.8km.
The opening stage, the Al Dhafra stage (189km) will take its now traditional route, starting and finishing in Madinat Zayed, and running entirely through the desert. New features are packed into stage two, the Yas Island stage (154km) starting from Yas Mall. Then riders and fans will discover a new area through Al Bahia and the Khalifa Port. The third stage, the Nation Towers stage (133km), will be a tour of the capital, featuring as many landmarks as possible and the probable bunch sprint will take place on Al Marina, close to the Big Flag. Day four, the Al Maryah Island stage (11.8km), is settled in Al Maryah Island, Abu Dhabi’s business and lifestyle destination, and is the very first Time Trial on the Abu Dhabi Tour agenda. It’s a simple route, with just two bends and a single U-turn, setting up an extremely fast and absolutely spectacular stage. The Grand Finale, on Sunday 25th February, delivers the mountain stage from Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet (Al Ain stage, 199km). It’s here that the climbers and puncheurs will fight for general classification with an uphill finish at an altitude of 1,025m.
Nation Towers, the luxury complex near the southern end of the Corniche, is confirmed as the official Abu Dhabi Tour Fan Zone. It will be open from 15 to 25 February (12pm to 8pm, Sunday to Wednesday; and 12pm to 11pm, Thursday to Saturday) with a venue dedicated to the sponsors and large screens for following the race action live.
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