Team UAE Abu Dhabi has named a strong outfit for its home WorldTour race, next week's Abu Dhabi Tour. The newly created team will have a strong squad for the four-day stage headlined by Rui Costa, Ben Swift, Louis Meintjes, and Diego Ulissi.
The Abu Dhabi Tour makes the team second appearance on home soil at the UAE following its debut at the Dubai Tour earlier in the month.
Swift leads the team's options in the sprint stages having made his season debut at the Tour Down Under in January. Italian fast man Andrea Guardini and neo-pro Simone Consonni bolster the sprint train which will be up against the likes of Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan.
Currently sitting second overall at the Tour of Oman following two second place finishes on consecutive stages, Costa claimed the team's first ever win at the Vuelta a San Juan. The 2013 world champion will be aiming to continue his good early season form on the Jabel Hafeet where the race is likely to be decided.
Ulissi, who won the G.P. Costa degli Etruschi in early February, forms a strong triumvirate alongside Costa and Meintjes for the decisive climbing stage.
The third edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour sees the peloton compete on the now regular Madinat Zayed route for stage 1 with a final suited for the sprinters. The second stage tours the capital, taking in the Corniche, the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, Al Reem Island, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Old Al Bahia and Al Sadar, before the probable bunch sprint on Al Marina.
Stage 3 then takes the peloton from the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium to the Jabel Hafeet climb where the 10.8km ascent is likely to decide the overall winner of the race. The fourth and final stage of the race takes place on the iconic Yas Marina Circuit with the riders to complete 26 laps of the fast and wide 4.5km F1 circuit.
Team UAE Abu Dhabi for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour: Rui Costa, Kristijan Durasek, Andrea Guardini, Manuele Mori, Ben Swift, Louis Meintjes, and Diego Ulissi.