British fashion designer Paul Smith has been revealed as the designer of the leaders' jerseys for the 2015 edition of the Dubai Tour which will kick off the early-season racing in the Gulf next week.
This year's race marks the second edition of the race and will be held between Wednesday February 4 and Saturday February 7, with Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) all expected to be in action. Taylor Phinney (BMC) dominated the race last year by winning the opening time trial.
The Dubai Tour is organised by the Dubai Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro d'Italia. The jerseys will be produced by Italian company Castelli, with the race leader's jersey again a dark blue colour. The points jersey is red, the intermediate sprints jersey is red, white, green and black, like the UAE flag, with the best young rider wearing a white jersey.
The race has been upgraded to 2.HC status, allowing RCS Sport to invite more WorldTour teams. There will be 10 WorldTour teams in total this year: 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.
To ensure the jerseys are perfect for the warm Dubai climate, Castelli has used a lightweight high-tech fabric supplied by SITIP that is both UV-protective and allows for a very rapid rate of heat dissipation.
The jerseys were presented in Dubai on Tuesday morning, with Paul Smith sending a video message from his studio in London.
"I was very pleased to be asked to design the Dubai Tour jerseys having learnt a lot from my previous experiences working on the Giro D'Italia,” he said in a press release from RCS Sport.
“There are four jerseys, one for each of the different classifications and a key consideration in the design of each was keeping the riders cool. Working with Castelli, I've used a breathable fabric on the front, there's a full zip that they can open if they need to cool down and on the back it's got a UV filter fabric. The Dubai Tour is becoming increasingly important in the road cycle season and I'm looking forward to watching!”
The second edition of the Dubai Tour is longer and harder than the 2014 race, with the riders covering 663km during the four stages. The 205km third stage finishes with a steep climb up to the Hatta Dam.
“The Dubai Tour has grown very quickly and in just its second year is one of the more important cycling events in the international calendar. Great collaborations, such as this one with the famous designer Paul Smith, highlight the race’s prestige,” H.E. Saeed Hareb, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Dubai Tour said.
“The increasing importance of the Dubai Tour, both locally and internationally, has attracted new sponsors and greater investments and we are proud to have such prestigious partners at our side. These are companies of fundamental importance for Dubai and represent the Dubai brand the world over.”
Click here to subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube video channel and see all our video content.