The Emirates is gearing up for the inaugural UAE Tour – the one Center East occasion on the UCI’s WorldTour calendar – which is able to welcome a few of the sport’s high cyclists when it will get beneath means in Abu Dhabi on February 24.
The Tour – which sees the Abu Dhabi Tour and Dubai Tour mix into one week-long occasion – will boast an enviable line-up of biking’s high superstars as all 18 UCI WorldTour groups have dedicated their greatest riders to the race, which is able to go to all seven emirates.
Right here, we take a look at the important thing speaking factors.
FROOME IN THE UAE
By almost each out there metric, Chris Froome’s standing as one of many best racers of all time is firmly assured.
The 33-year-old clinched his fourth Grand Tour title on the Giro d’Italia in Might and adopted it up with second place on the Tour de France two months later, ending behind teammate Geraint Thomas.
However with the Welshman additionally proving he’s able to profitable Grand Excursions, Group Sky face a dilemma in who fills the lead rider place for 2019.
And with lower than 5 months till biking’s showpiece occasion rolls into Brussels for the opening stage, Froome has loads of time to indicate his mettle as he eyes a record-equalling fifth title.
The assorted high-cadence climbs on provide across the Emirates subsequent week will go well with his attributes, and matched with the hovering climbs at Jebel Hafeet and the Hajar Mountains, ought to steer him in the precise path forward of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya subsequent month.
Riders like Alejandro Valverde and Tim Dumoulin could also be forward of the Briton of their respective coaching programmes for the yr, however there may be each motive to place Froome as a No1 favorite for the crimson jersey.
VIVIANI CAN BE EVEN BETTER IN 2019
The Italian seemed a category aside final season with 18 stage wins, and primarily based on his kind in Australia final month, seems to have began the brand new yr the place he left off.
What made his early season kind all of the extra spectacular was the very fact he crashed out within the Tour Down Beneath Traditional in Adelaide and was capable of reply two days later with a wonderful model of sprinting to zip previous Max Walscheid on the end line for a maiden stage victory of the yr on stage one among Tour Down Beneath.
On the Cadel Evans Nice Ocean Street race three weeks in the past, Viviani recorded one other win, holding off rival Caleb Ewan for an excellent win.
Final yr’s most profitable rider might have turned 30 this month, however with Fernando Gaviria now at UAE Group Emirates, it’s going to be fascinating to look at the Verona man battle in opposition to the world’s greatest because the season progresses.
The Deceuninck-Fast Step crew lead out practice is without doubt one of the strongest within the enterprise, and with extra time collectively, Viviani is certain to be a pressure.
FIRST CHANCE FOR UAE FANS TO SEE GAVIRIA
Gaviria has been touted as a future classics star, regardless that he has but to make a big impression within the in style Belgian one-day races.
The 24-year-old, who switched from Group-Fast Step in October, loved two stage wins on the Tour de France in July and possesses the facility, tempo, timing and intelligence to be a key identify within the sport for years to return.
With two stage wins already to his identify this season in Argentina, Gaviria was then compelled to withdraw from his house Tour of Colombia final week as a result of a respiratory an infection.
If he can return to full health for Sunday’s opening stage in Abu Dhabi, will probably be the proper probability for UAE followers to see their new signing race alongside one other fan favorite Alexander Kristoff.
The Norwegian is without doubt one of the high-pedigree classics riders and can forge a iron-like partnership with Gaviria for the Emirati formation this season.
An thrilling marketing campaign awaits with UAE possessing two of essentially the most gifted sprinters within the peloton.
NEW EXCITING ROUTE
The UAE Tour’s seven levels will embrace all seven Emirates and is certain to seize the creativeness of biking followers across the nation subsequent week.
The primary three levels will likely be hosted by Abu Dhabi, the fourth by Dubai, Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah, the fifth stage crosses Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah.
The sixth is in Ajman, Umm al Quwain and Ras al Khaimah, whereas the ultimate stage sees a return to the streets of Dubai, ending up at Metropolis Stroll.
Though marquee biking races have taken place within the Emirates previously, it’s hoped that the UAE Tour will proceed to signify a brand new chapter for biking within the area and add to the rising checklist of sporting occasions at present going down all year long.
Moreover, it’s a significant enhance for biking within the Gulf to host a World Tour occasion of it’s calibre and provides to the thrilling races that already happen in Oman.