Abu Dhabi Tour (October 8-11)
This week’s Abu Dhabi Tour (October 811) is drawing big names, including the newly-crowned World Champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), Grand Tour champions such as Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru, three times UCI Time Trial World Champion Tony Martin, some tasty sprinters such as Theo Bos,Matthew Goss, Mark Cavendish and Tom Boonen, Marcel Kittel, Michael Matthews and Elia Viviani .
Is the route all flat deserts?
No it is not. Although four days doesn’t give the opportunity for a wide scope of stage profiles, there’s a testing climb to the finish on day three of the race (see below for maps/profiles). Stages one, two and four are very flat, though, giving the sprinters a chance to shine. Stage three will likely be the decider though, and we can look forward to the mountain men having one last uphill ding-dong before they put their bikes away for a month or two.
Who is going to win?
As we’ve mentioned, there are going to be a lot of weary legs in attendance. Vincenzo Nibali was in great shape to win Il Lombardia last weekend, and you can never discount WorldTour winner Alejandro Valverde, who can contest flat stages as well as climb. Team Sky’s Dutch climber Wout Poels is also on our shortlist of possibles for the final podium, as is Vuelta sensation Tom Dumoulin. Some riders, though, will likely be happy to have a bit of end-of-season training and enjoy the undoubtedly luxurious surroundings provided by the host nation.
What’s the weather going to be like?
With temperatures averaging around 30°C, but peaking nearer 45°C, and the threat of sandstorms, some riders may struggle with the change in weather. Crosswinds, heat and sunshine will make it familiar territory for those who have experienced the Tour of Qatar or Dubai Tour.
Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: Stages
Thursday, October 8
The ADNOC Stage: Qasr al Sarab to Madinat Zayed, 174km
Friday, October 9
The Capital Stage: Yas Marina Circuit to Yas Mall, 129km
Saturday, October 10
The Al Ain Stage: Al Ain (Al Qattara Souq) to Jebel Hafeet, 142km
Sunday, October 11
The Yas Stage 110km: Yas Marina Circuit, 110km
Abu Dhabi Tour 2015: Teams
18 teams comprising a maximum of six riders apiece will contest the Abu Dhabi Tour, bringing the total start list to 108 riders.
Drapac Professional Cycling
Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling
UAE National Selection
The article was published on CyclingWeekly.co.uk
Find out more: abudhabitour.com