This year’s edition will see the riders start and finish in Abu Dhabi and compete over seven diverse stages.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The first UCI World Tour race of the 2021 season, the UAE Tour will take place over seven stages from Feb.21-27.
All the top teams including Alpecin-Fenix - the top-ranked UCI ProTeam in 2020, will be taking part in the race, The Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the UAE Tour organisers and Dubai Sports Council confirmed that for the first time all 19 World Tour teams have committed to compete in the third edition of the UAE Tour.
The start and finish locations of the first World Tour race of the season have also been confirmed, as ratified by the sports world governing body, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
This year’s edition will see the riders start and finish in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and compete over seven diverse stages that showcase the unique landscapes of the UAE. Fans across the globe can look forward to again witnessing a tremendously entertaining sporting spectacle. Twenty teams populate the provisional start list.
Both the first and second edition of the race — won by Primoz Roglic and Adam Yates respectively — attracted an exceptionally strong roster of riders, making for exciting racing. The 2021 UAE Tour will, of course, be no different.
Expect to see big names battle for the general classification leader’s Red Jersey, won last year by British rider Adam Yates on fine form.
Yates bested 2020 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar by 1 minute and 1 second in the overall standings, despite an impressive display from the young Slovenian that saw him take victory on Stage 5 atop Jebel Hafeet — a 10km long ascent that peaks over 1000m above sea level.
The varied climbs that have featured in the first two editions of the UAE Tour have provided world-class team leaders with exciting opportunities to showcase their form.
The race’s flatter stages have proved to be a sprinter’s paradise meanwhile, offering fast finishes for the world’s best sprinters including: Caleb Ewan, Sam Bennett, Pascal Ackermann, Elia Viviani and Fernando Gaviria. Cycling fans worldwide can look forward to watching their favourite riders again compete in the UAE Tour from Feb.21.
Further details of the 2021 UAE Tour teams and riders will be announced in the coming weeks, closely followed by the announcement of the race route.
The last edition featured 20 teams, with 140 riders competing, including talented former world champions Alejandro Valverde (Movisar Team), Chris Froome (Team Ineos) and many other cycling stars.
The UAE Tour represents a distinctive model of continous national success and is in line for the global leadership vision of attracting the most important international events as well as professional althletes.
The organising committe will follow all neccessary Covid-19 precautions to safeguard the safety of the riders, teams and staff.The UAE Tour demonstrates the UAE’s capabilities in international sport and highlights its role in bringing people together in the UAE which is the home of peace and tolerance.
"The decision has been taken to ensure protection of all the Race's participants," said the Higher Organising Committee, adding that "safety comes at the top of all priorities."
The UAE Team Emirates’ fastman Fernando Gaviria has thanked the UAE health authorities after receiving the ‘best care and attention in the world’ on his road to recovery after being diagnosed with Corona virus last month.
The team goes into the race with a well-balanced squad enabling them to be competitive during each stage, as well as the GC. Fernando Gaviria will be the team’s fastman in the sprints while Fabio Aru and David De la Cruz will look to test their legs in the mountains.
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