On the eve of the Dubai Tour in the United Arab Emirates, teams gathered Tuesday evening at the Westin Hotel for the official presentation and opening ceremonies. Performers on bikes entertained the crowd with tricks while former football legend Diego Maradona was on hand to greet locals and riders alike among his admirers.
The evening provided a reunion of sorts for former teammates who have moved on to different squads, and the event hosts created quite a gala atmosphere, complete with confetti and acrobatics.
The four-day 2.HC race begins Wednesday with the opening 179km stage from Dubai to Fujairah and concludes on Saturday with the 132km circuit race around Dubai.
Cyclingnews will be on the ground in Dubai all week to bring you the news as it happens, but for now check out the team presentation gallery above from Getty Images, Bettini and Tim de Waele.