MTN-Qhubeka are sending a balanced squad of sprinter and climbers to the inaugural edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour aiming for stage wins. Theo Bos will headline the team's sprint options with Matthew Goss, Andy Stauff and Tour de Langkawi winner Youcef Reguigui riding in support of the Dutchman.
"The Abu Dhabi Tour takes place for the first time and there will be many strong riders here who want to finish the season on a high note," said the team's head of performance Jens Zemke. "The race is only four stages long and stage 3 seems to be the stage for the GC riders. If the wind does not blow then this could be a sprinters dream race. We have four sprinters and two African climbers at the start and we will give everything we have left after a long, successful and tough year."
Bos is yet to win a race in 2015 but heads to the UAE with a top ten finish at the Tour de l'Eurométropole last month.
Songezo Jim makes his first appearance at a stage since the Vuelta a Espana and along with Daniel Teklehaimanot provides the team with climbing options for the testing stage 3.
"Abu Dhabi is a new race so we don't know what to expect really. There are a lot of World Tour teams here though so a lot could happen," Jim said. "For us the goal will be to concentrate on the sprints with Theo. Stage 3 is where the GC will be decided I think. I have been having issues with my knee lately but I'm hoping to do a good race. Either Daniel or I could be up there, we will just see who feels better on the day and the one will help the either."
Katusha will line up at the stage race with a predominately Russian outfit lead by former Giro d'Italia stage winner Maxim Belkov while Italian Jacopo Guarnieri provides the team with options for sprint finishes.
The second ranked team on the WorldTour standings has enjoyed 40 victories in 2015 but none of the six riders selected for Abu Dhabi have tastes success this season so far. Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alberto Losada, Eduard Vorganov and Anton Vorobyev complete the Katusha team and will be looking to make it at least 41 wins in what is already the team's best ever season.
Former Russian champion Vorganov was the best placed Katusha rider at the Dubai Tour back in February, finishing 18th and will be looking for another top-20 result on UAE soil to finish off the year.
MTN-Qhubeka for Au Dhabi Tour: Theo Bos, Matthew Goss, Andy Stauff, Youcef Reguigui, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Songezo Jim.
Katusha for Abu Dhabi Tour: Maxim Belkov, Jacopo Guarnieri, Dmitriy Kozonchuk, Alberto Losada, Eduard Vorganov and Anton Vorobyev.
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