The 2015 season steps up a gear in early February with the second edition of the Dubai Tour kicking off the early-season racing in the Persian Gulf.
The four-day race begins on Wednesday February 4 and ends on Saturday February 7. Three of the four stages are expected to end in sprint finishes, with the uphill stage three finish to Hatta Dam predicted to decide the overall classification. Time bonuses of ten, six and four seconds are awarded at the end of each stage and could prove decisive in deciding the final overall winner.
Taylor Phinney (BMC) won the inaugural Dubai Tour in 2014, with Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) dominating the sprint stages. Both are absent for the second edition but the start list includes some of the biggest names in the peloton, including Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quick-Step), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), and Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), who make his 2015 in the race.
A total of 16 teams, including 10 WorldTour teams, will ride the Dubai Tour, plus the Skydive Dubai Skydive and a UAE national team. The race is organised by RCS Sport, who also organise the Giro d'Italia.
The four stages will visit the Dubai Marina, the iconic Palm Jumeirah, the inland Hatta Dam, with the final stage finishing in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper.
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