Some of the biggest names in cycling will be at the start line of the third WorldTour race of the season when the four-day Tour of Abu Dhabi begins on Thursday.
Riders including Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo),Teejay Van Garderen (Team BMC), Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Romain Bardet, (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) are racing. Mark Cavendish and his ever-reliable leadout specialist Mark Renshaw, of Team Dimension Data, will also be there.
With fast finishes assured, young Aussie sprint sensation Caleb Ewan will also be lining up and will be supported by a strong Orica-Scott squad.
The invigorated Australian outfit will face the world’s best with confidence, particularly after Caleb Ewan’s multiple Santos Tour Down Under stage wins.
“The main priority of the week is to try and get a stage win with Caleb,” said Orica-Scott Race Director Dave McPartland. “There’s going to be a good field of sprinters at this race so it will be a real test for him. If he can win here against these top guys then he will really prove himself as being one of the fastest guys in the world.”
Caleb Versus The Best
McPartland said Caleb knows he has good form. “We started the season off perfectly so it’s just a case of trying to get him a stage win now in this sort of company,” he said.
The pocket rocket sprinter will be supported by lead-out specialists Roger Kluge and Luka Mezgec with powerhouse Alexander Edmondson boosting the team’s strength on the flat stages.
Known as a relatively flat race, there is one high country finish and that’s on Saturday at Jebel Hafeet, the picture-perfect ’empty mountain’, with an elevation of 1,025 metres.
We will publish a live stream link via the Bicycling Australia Facebook page prior to the stage start on Thursday.
Tour of Abu Dhabi – Feb 23rd-26th Feb
Thursday Feb 23 – Stage 1, Baynounah Educational complex to Madinat Zayed, 187km
Friday Feb 24 – Stage 2, Al Maryan Island to Big Flag National Towers, 153km
Saturday Feb 25 – Stage 3, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium to Jebel Hafeet, 186km
Sunday Feb 26 – Stage 4, Yas Marina circuit, 143km
ORICA-SCOTT Tour of Abu Dhabi Team