Some of the top names in pro cycling will ride the premiere Abu Dhabi Tour next month (October 8-11), ranging from Vuelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru to sprinter Mark Cavendish. “The first edition of the UAE capital race will be honoured by the presence of the best WorldTour teams and some of the biggest stars of the 2015 season,” according to the press release.
Aru (Astana) will be joined by big names like teammate Vincenzo Nibali, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano).
Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), ambassador for the race, will go up against Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel and Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge). Philippe Gilbert (BMC), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), and Richie Porte (Team Sky) will also be in the mix.
"The new race in Abu Dhabi is exciting and will introduce cycling to a new part of the world,” Gilbert said, with Kittel saying "I'm happy to race at the Abu Dhabi Tour and I am looking forward to being part of the first edition of this race".
“Abu Dhabi Tour has the will to become a reference in the international calendar. Big names and the best teams, including seven squads from the Velon group, assure an amazing competition across the four stages to attract the gaze of the world’s media,” said Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council.”
The race will include 18 teams of six riders each including 10 WorldTour teams and five Professional Continental teams, with three more to be announced.
Teams and major riders for the Abu Dhabi Tour:
Astana: Fabio Aru, Vincenzo Nibali
BMC: Philippe Gilbert
Bora-Argon 18: Emanuel Buchmann
Colombia: Nairo Quintero
Drapac: Graeme Brown
Etixx-QuickStep: Mark Cavendish
Lampre-Merida: Diego Ulissi, Xu Gang
Movistar: Alejandro Valverde
MTN-Qhubeka: Daniel Teklehaimanot
Orica-GreenEdge: Michael Matthews, Esteban Chaves
Skydive Dubai-Al Ahli Club: Al Murawwi
Giant-Alpecin: Marcel Kittel, Tom Dumoulin, Ji Cheng
Katusha: Joaquim Rodriguez
Sky: Richie Porte
Team Wiggins: Daniel Patten
Tinkoff-Saxo: Peter Sagan
UAE National Team: Yousif Mirza
UnitedHealthcare: Janez Braijkovic