Dubai Tour expands to five days

Organisers say riders wanted the extra stage

The Dubai Tour will be expanded from 2017 onwards, with the number of stages increasing from four to five.

The 2.HC-classified race, held early in the season, has been raced over four days since its inception in 2014 but the new format will allow for exploration of new terrain in Dubai and the neighbouring emirates.

"We have wanted this additional stage for a long time and for many reasons, including the riders’ requests: they were very keen to race here for longer due to the event’s high standards of organization and accommodation," said H.E. Saeed Hareb, general secretary of the Dubai Sports Council.

“Seeing - literally - the growth of the Dubai Tour is a result that makes us proud and confirms once again the commitment of the UAE Cycling Federation and the Dubai Sports Council in the sport of cycling, now really popular in our Emirate."

The change in length should have an impact on the balance and nature of the race. After Taylor Phinney won the inaugural edition in 2014 thanks to the opening-day time trial, it has since been a sprinter's race, with Mark Cavendish winning in 2015 and Marcel Kittel this year

The last two editions have featured three sprint stages and one uphill finish on the punchy climb to Hatta Dam, though the bonus seconds awarded on the finish lines meant Cavendish and Kittel were able to take overall victory. 

It's not yet clear what the organisers plan to do with the extra stage but the full route for the 2017 edition, taking place between January 31 and February 3, will be unveiled at a special race presentation event in Dubai in December. 

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