UAE Tour gets into top gear
Route, Jerseys and Sponsors announced
After the successful inaugural edition of 2019, the second edition of the UAE Tour was officially unveiled on Monday at the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences & Technology. The route of the seven-stage race and the four leaders' jerseys were all revealed.
The only WorldTour race in the Middle East, organised by the Dubai Sports Council, the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Sharjah Sports Council, in partnership with RCS Sport, is scheduled from Feb. 23 to 29, a press release stated.
The 2020 UAE Tour's seven stages will embrace all seven United Emirates. The first stage will be hosted by Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, the second will start in Dubai and include both Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, while the third crosses Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.
The fourth runs entirely in the Emirate of Dubai and the final three stages will be hosted by Abu Dhabi. The 2020 UAE Tour has a total distance of 1,177km with a significant elevation gain of around 3,500 metres, mostly concentrated into stages two, three and five.
Among the riders who have already announced their participation are last year's UAE Tour runner-up and 2018 UCI Road World Champion, Alejandro Valverde, also winner of the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour and two times stage winner atop Jebel Hafeet; two-times UCI Time Trial World Champion and stage winner at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour, Rohan Dennis; 2019 Giro d'Italia Maglia Azzurra (King of the Mountain) Giulio Ciccone, the young Slovenian Tadej Pogacar, winner of 2019 Tour of California, three stages and third overall at the 2019 Vuelta a España.
Alongside them are such famous names as the Italian road champion Davide Formolo, Adam Yates, Wout Poels (winner of the 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège), stage winner at both the Giro and the Tour, Ilnur Zakarin, and some of the best sprinters in the world, including: Fernando Gaviria - winner of five stages at the Giro, two at the Tour and winner of Stage 2 of last year's UAE Tour; stage winner in all three Grand Tours and winner of Stage 4 of 2019 UAE Tour atop Hatta Dam, Caleb Ewan; Dylan Groenewegen (four-times stage at the Tour de France); Sam Bennett (winner of three stages at the Giro and two at La Vuelta); 2019 Giro d'Italia double stage winner and Maglia Ciclamino (Points Classification) Pascal Ackermann; Arnaud Démare (multiple stage winner between the Giro and the Tour, 2016 Milano-Sanremo) and Mark Cavendish, with 30 stages at the Tour de France, 15 at the Giro d'Italia, the 2011 Road World Champion and winner of two stages and the General Classification at the 2015 Dubai Tour.
Saeed Hareb, Dubai Sports Council Secretary General, said: "This year's route of the UAE Tour will challenge every kind of rider and will crown the most complete rider who proves to be the strongest in the seven stages raced across all seven Emirates. It was our dream to have a world-class international cycling event which features the beauty and faces the riding challenges of all seven Emirates and, as the first edition already proved, the UAE Tour is establishing itself as an important appointment in the world cycling calendar."
Aref Al Awani, Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, said: "I'm delighted to unveil the second edition of this wonderful race. The UAE Tour is the result of years of effort, passion and commitment from many people.
"I especially want to thank the Dubai Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Sharjah Sports Council, along with our sponsors and partners. As the world is watching, we are poised to deliver another world-class sporting spectacle which will contribute to the development of cycling across all the seven Emirates."
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