Chris Froome will not compete in the upcoming UAE Tour as originally planned, citing the need to recover from his recent participation at the Tour Colombia 2.1. Team Sky made the announcement Wednesday.
"I'm disappointed to miss UAE Tour, but I need to recover fully from Colombia, instead of going straight into such a big WorldTour race." Froome said in the team statement. "I wish the boys all the best for what I’m sure will be a great event."
Froome's decision to not start the UAE Tour comes as a surprise. Organisers of the race announced in December that he would participate in the newly formed event, which combines the former Dubai and Abu Dhabi tours. In addition, Froome confirmed that he would participate in the UAE Tour in a post last week on Twitter during the Tour Colombia, where he finished 97th overall.
Team Sky released the final roster that will see Michal Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon, who were already on start list, co-lead the team for the UAE Tour held from February 25 to March 2.
"It’s the first race for Gianni and Michal this season and after some good winter training, they will be able to gauge where they are at against the rest of the field," said Team Sky director Dario Cioni, who pointed to the team time trial and the stage 3 summit finish as being decisive parts of the seven-day race.
"The opening team time trial will be very important and will create gaps amongst the GC contenders. The mountain stages will be key for GC, with the Jebel Hafeet climb having been decisive in previous years in the Abu Dhabi Tour."
Kenny Elissonde will take the place of Froome on the seven-rider roster alongside Kwaitkowksi, Moscon, Michal Golas, Kristoffer Halvorsen, Salvatore Puccio and Pavel Sivakov.