The Dubai Tour has announced the 16 teams that will take part in the second edition of the race, which takes place from February 4-7. Vincenzo Nibali and his Astana team will be the star attraction at the race.
Defending champion Taylor Phinney’s BMC Racing team will return, although it will be without the American who is still recovering from a broken leg. Phinney won the inaugural race in 2014, beating his teammate Stephen Cummings by 15 seconds. Giant-Shimano’s Marcel Kittel won all three of the sprint stages.
The race has been upgraded to 2.HC status, allowing them to invite more WorldTour teams. There will be 10 WorldTour teams in total, rather than the rumoured 11: AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana, BMC Racing, Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida, Movistar, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha, Team Sky and Tinkoff-Saxo.
With one less WorldTour team, the organisers have invited four Pro Continental teams, one Continental outfit and a UAE national team. The four Pro Continental teams are Bardiani CSF, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, UnitedHealthcare and Novo Nordisk, while local team SkyDive Dubai also earned a spot.
The 2015 race is set to be a much tougher affair with the opening time trial gone and 663 kilometres of racing over the four days.