Mark Cavendish continues busy February with Abu Dhabi Tour

Cummings makes season debut for Dimension Data in WorldTour race

Mark Cavendish continues his Middle Eastern block of racing this week, riding the five-day Abu Dhabi Tour after completing the Dubai Tour and the Tour of Oman.

Cavendish has already clocked up 11 days of racing in the last 14 days and will lead Dimension Data in the opening three stages of the Abu Dhabi Tour, which are likely to end in bunch sprints. 

After that, Steve Cummings and Lachlan Morton will take over for the 12.6km time trial on stage 4 and the mountain finish on Jebel Hafeet on the final day. Also in the Dimension Data squad for the Abu Dhabi Tour are Mark Renshaw, Jaco Vinter, Mekseb Debesay and Scott Davies.

The Abu Dhabi Tour is part of the UCI WorldTour and so precious ranking points will be up for grabs. 17 of the 18 WorldTour teams have opted to ride, with Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Rohan Dennis (BMC), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) all in action.

Cavendish won stage 3 at the Dubai Tour and was second on the opening stage at last week's Tour of Oman. He is clearly on form but faces competition in the sprints from Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott), and Dan McLay (EF Education First-Drapac).

"The Abu Dhabi Tour will be a tough challenge, as all WorldTour races are," Dimension Data directeur sportif Roger Hammond explained.

"The peloton has a couple of race days in their legs now so everyone is a bit faster, all slightly sharper too, so executing our plans will be key to a good result. We have a strong squad here for Abu Dhabi which will look to make the most of the opportunities presented to us this week."

Cyclingnews will have full coverage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, with live updates of the action, stage reports, photo galleries and exclusive news.

Click here to read the Cyclingnews preview of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour. 

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