ONE Pro Cycling, the Britain's first UCI Professional Continental, team have warmly welcomed their first invite to the Dubai Tour, February 3-6.
The team were one of just three Pro Continental teams to receive an invite for the February stage race along with CCC Sprandi and Team Novo Nordisk. Ten WorldTour squads and two teams from the Continental ranks, with Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel also expected to clash in the sprints with their Dimension Data and Etixx-QuickStep teams. The team has signed Matt Goss from MTN-Qhubeka as part of its 2016 roster.
“We have worked hard to build a race calendar for ONE Pro Cycling for 2016 to both develop and challenge our squad whilst always looking to be competitive. To be accepted into the Dubai Tour is testament to the squad that we’ve built and I’m confident we can travel to Dubai not only to ride the race but to be challenging for good results,’’ ONE Pro’s Matt Wilson told Cyclingnews.
As a Professional Continental team ONE Pro Cycling must rely on early season invitations to major races and a strong start to the season in order to secure further invitations to the sport’s biggest races. The team have stated their ambitions of riding Grand Tours in the next two seasons and the invitation to the Dubai Tour is a significant step in that direction. The riders will use the new Factor bikes developed by Baden Cooke and David Millar.
The race is organized by RCS Sport, who organize a number of WorldTour races, including the Giro d’Italia. Although a wildcard for the 2016 Giro d’Italia may be a step too far and too soon, ONE Pro Cycling see the Dubai Tour invitation as a major stepping-stone in their ambitions.
“This is our first race organised by the RCS and we hope this will be the start of a good relationship between both parties. We look forward to racing against some of the world’s best in Dubai in February,” added White.
Teams for the 2016 Dubai Tour:
WorldTour: Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing, Dimension Data, Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida, Movistar Team, Giant-Alpecin, Team Sky, Tinkoff, Trek Factory Racing.
Pro Continental: CCC Sprandi Polkowice, ONE Pro Cycling, and Team Novo Nordisk.
Continental: Skydive Dubai, Team Wiggins.
National: UAE national selection.