After five years as the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour, the brand new, combined, UAE Tour was officially unveiled.
The inaugural UAE Tour’s seven stages will embrace all seven United Emirates.
The first three stages will be hosted by Abu Dhabi, the fourth by Dubai, Sharjah and Ras-al-Khaimah, the fifth stage crosses Sharjah, Ras-al-Khaimah and Fujairah, the sixth is in Ajman, Umm-al-Quwain and Ras-al-Khaimah, while the final stage sees a return to Dubai.
The 2019 UAE Tour has a total distance of 1,090km with a significant elevation gain of around 4,500 metres, mostly concentrated into stages three, four and six.
18 WorldTour teams plus two UCI Professional Continental Teams are set to start. Among them are some of the world’s finest riders including Chris Froome, Vincenzo Nibali, Tom Dumoulin and last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour winner and UCI Road World Champion, Alejandro Valverde.
The new race starts on Sunday 24th February in Abu Dhabi’s Al Hudayriat Island with the ADNOC Stage (16km), the very first Team Time Trial opening the Middle East WorldTour race.
“The UAE Tour would be a fantastic world event, with team time trial and two uphill finishes as well,” Froome said. “It will be a nice way to start the season. I very much looking forward to that race,”.