We are getting closer to the Abu Dhabi Tour of the United Arab Emirates. This men’s cycling stage race is set to begin on February 21st and run through February 25th. The first year for the Abu Dhabi Tour was held in 2015. This will be the 4th year for the prestigious event. As the result of another race not being held in 2018, the Abu Dhabi event has been moved up a couple of weeks.
Notable Cyclists for the Abu Dhabi Tour
Many cycling teams have already signed themselves in for the event including last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour winner Rui Costa. Other notable cyclist includes Tom Dumoulin who won the Giro d’Italia last year and former Vaelta a Espana winner Fabio Aru.
UCI World Teams
The Abu Dhabi Tour is the only cycling event scheduled in the middle east this year and will boast of 17 UCI World Teams and three UCI Professional Continental Cycling Teams (the lower tier of the UCI Cycling teams). Each of the teams will consist of 7 riders.
United States Teams for the Abu Dhabi Tour
Of the United States teams, the following teams will be present at the race: BMC, EF Education First-DRAPC p/b Cannondale, and Trek Segaredo. These teams will represent the UCI Professional teams among the 17 top teams that will be racing. In addition, team Novo Nordisk will represent the United States from the UCI Professional Continental ranks.
The entire race 686,8 kilometers and consists of 5 stages. Stage 1 is the Al Dhafra, Stage 2 is the Yas Island, Stage 3 is the Nation Towers, Stage 4 is the Al Maryah Island, and Stage 5 is the Al Ain.
Last Year’s Winner Rui Costa
Last year’s winner Rui Costa is a rider for the UAE Abu Dhabi team. It must have been exciting to win the Red Jersey for the country of his team. Although, Costa himself hails from Portugal. The Red Jersey is awarded to the overall winner of the race and is sponsored by the Al Maryah Island.
Who will win this years Red Jersey? Costa has as good of a chance as anyone. He has won several races over the last several years including stages of the Tour de France and the 2013 UCI Road World Championships in Tuscany, Italy. Will he win again, or will a USA cyclist have a chance? We will know in a couple of weeks.