New race to follow on from Qatar and Oman
The Dubai Tour announced for 2014 will be last four days, include five stages and be held between February 20-23 according to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport.
After the official announcement of the race last Friday, Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Dubai Sports Council, with the goal of finalising a deal in the next few months regarding the organisation of the race.
RCS Sport organised the official opening of the Dubai Cycling Course, bringing Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali, Tony Martin and Ryder Hesjedal to the event.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Dubai Tour will follow on from the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman in 2014, with many of the riders and team staff riding all three races. The race will last four days and include five stages: a time trial, a team time trial, two sprint stages and a hilly stage near the border with Oman.
RCS Sport general director Michele Acquarone also revealed that a Gran Fondo event could be organised at the same time as the race.
"When we spoke for the first time, I put three ideas on the table: The start of the Giro d'Italia, organise a race, and a Gran Fondo," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
"In Dubai they realised the huge potential of cycling and as well as the race, it's possible that there will also be a Gran Fondo Giro, like the ones we already organise in the USA."
The Dubai Sports Council wants the race to promote Dubai as a tourist destination, help develop cycling in the area and eventually discover local cyclists who can represent the United Arab Emirates at the Olympics.
"We won't just organise the race, we'll be Dubai's partner for a social project: teach children about cycling and help them have high level athletes. The race has to help Dubai develop an important rider within a few years," Acquarone confirmed.