Cavendish launches Abu Dhabi Tour jerseys

Organisers begin build-up to debut race

The 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour race jerseys were presented by Mark Cavendish at the Yas Marina Circuit on Tuesday. The race, which has a strategic relationship with Velon, will take place next month October 8-11, with four leaders’ jerseys up for grabs over the four-day race.

Cavendish, who is still recovering from a recent crash, is an ambassador for the race and will line up at the inaugural edition. The race acts a precursor to the UCI gala dinner.  

The Castelli-made race leader’s jersey is sponsored by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), while there is a points jersey (green), young rider’s jersey (white) and and intermediate points jersey (black).

"I’m honoured to be here today in the role of Official Ambassador. This is an important step on the road to the debut Abu Dhabi Tour. Jerseys are the symbols of our sport: the colours and meanings behind them are very important," said Cavendish.

Stage 1 covers 175km and passes along the edge of Rub al Khaki desert between Qasr Al Sarab to Madinat Zayed, meaning winds could be a factor. It includes 1200m of climbing and ends with a 15km circuit of Madinat Zayed.

Stage 2 is 130km long and visits the city centre. The start is at Yas Marina, which hosts the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix. A loop takes the riders past the massive Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque before heading back on itself for a loop via the islands north of the city. It passes the new Guggenheim Louvre museum before a twisting 7.6km circuit around Marina Island that is covered five time.

Cavendish won the Tour of Dubai last year and three of the four stages suit him,but not the third one. The overall in the race should be defined by stage 3 of the race with the 11 kilometre climb of Jebel Hafeet, which reaches an altitude of 1,000m, and has an average gradient of 7 per cent, and touches of 12 per cent on the lower slopes.

Stage 4 takes place at night, under floodlights at the Yas Marina Circuit, where the F1 GP takes place each November. The peloton will complete 20 laps of the circuit, covering 110 kilometres in total.

"Bikes and jerseys are an inseparable couple. And cycling fans know how important the jersey’s reputation is for the success of a stage tour. Ours is a choice of identity: red, green, white and black, representing the UAE’s unity and it is important to carry on this context through sport," said Mr. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, at the unveiling of the jerseys.

"I pause a moment on the leader jersey: not everybody knows that red is the dominant colour of the Abu Dhabi traditional flag. In this manner we want to symbolize all our history while we are on the world stage."

Each of the jerseys has its own sponsor. The red leader’s jersey is sponsored by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The Abu Dhabi Sports Council sponsors the green points jersey, and Eithad Airways the black Intermediate sprint jersey. The best young rider will wear white, from the country’s english language newspaper, "The National."

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