Newly-crowned UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan leads peloton of 18 teams and 108 riders. Full stage details.

Abu Dhabi, 7 October 2015 – The first edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour (8-11 October 2015), organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events, starts tomorrow afternoon amid the astonishing desert beauty of Qasr Al Sarab at 12.50pm Gulf Standard Time (GST). The official Start List is now available. 

Starters include:
  • Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team): A brilliant climber and the winner of his first Grand Tour, the three-week Tour of Spain, just a month ago.
  • Tom Boonen (Etixx - Quick Step): One of the greatest one-day riders in history. A former World Champion, he has won the Paris-Roubaix four times and the Tour of Flanders three times. Amazing!
  • Esteban Chaves (ORICA GreenEDGE): The upcoming climber in world cycling, he was race leader during the recent Vuelta a España, where he won two stages. We also saw him attacking alongside Vincenzo Nibali in Il Lombardia last Sunday.
  • Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant - Alpecin): We knew that Tom was one of the best time-triallists in the world. In August and September, we found out that he is also one of the best three-week racers. The revelation of the season.
  • Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team): A great one-day champion, the winner of three Amstel Gold Races, two Tours of Lombardy, one Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the 2012 World Champion.
  • Marcel Kittel (Team Giant Alpecin): An astonishing sprinter, the winner of stages in all three Grand Tours, including eight stages in the Tour de France.
  • Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team): One of a tiny handful of riders in cycling history who have won all three Grand Tours and, on Sunday, the winner of his first one-day Monument, Il Lombardia.
  • Peter Sagan (Tinkoff - Saxo):  One of the most talented and exciting riders most of us have ever seen, the winner of the past four points jerseys at the Tour de France, and, of course, the new reigning World Champion.
  • Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team): Four times the winner of the UCI WorldTour Ranking – in other words, the world's number one rider. 
  • Elia Viviani (Team Sky): A champion sprinter on the track and on the road, and the winner of a Giro d'Italia stage in May.
  • Xu Gang (Lampre - Merida): A brilliant climber from a new cycling nation, China.

Stage 1 – The ADNOC Stage (174km)
From Qasr Al Sarab to Madinat Zayed
Signing-On Ceremony: 11.30am - 12.45pm (all times GST)
Roll Out (Transfer 3.500m): 12.50pm
km 0: Approx. 1.00pm
Finish: Approx. 5.00pm
Race Headquarters: Al Dhafra Stadium, Madinat Zayed, UAE

The entire stage takes place in the stunning Rub al Khali desert, part of Abu Dhabi’s Western Region. Starting among the red sand dunes that surround the beautiful Qasr Al Sarab Resort, the undulating race route accrues around 1,200m of vertical climbing. The riders will trace a ring around Liwa and the nearby oasis, passing through the town twice. The riders then head north along straight roads for 55km, with the slightest of downhill gradients, as far as the town of Madinat Zayed. After the first crossing of the finish line, the peloton then enters a final 15km loop, to be ridden just once. A mass sprint is expected, although the desert winds could influence the outcome.

Mark Cavendish, Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador (with trophy) and three
of tomorrow's favourites: L-R Viviani, Sagan, Kittel

Red Jersey, sponsored by ADNOC (General individual classification by time), and White Jersey, sponsored by The National (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1990).
NOTE: Time bonuses: Intermediate Sprints: 3, 2 and 1 seconds for positions 1, 2 and 3. Finish line: 10, 6 and 4 seconds for positions 1, 2 and 3.
Stages 1, 2 and 3 have two intermediate sprints and a maximum possible 16 seconds of time bonuses. Stage 4 has three intermediate sprints and a maximum possible 19 seconds of time bonuses. The maximum possible time bonuses for the whole race is 67 seconds.

Green Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Council (General individual classification by points)
NOTE: Green Jersey Points - Intermediate Sprints: 8-5-3-1. Finish line: 20-16-12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 (first ten riders).
A maximum possible 36 points are up for grabs in each of stages 1, 2 and 3, and 44 for stage 4.

Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification)
NOTE: Black Jersey Points - Intermediate Sprints only: 8-5-3-1.
A maximum possible 16 points available for each of the first three stages, and 24 available on stage 4.

The Abu Dhabi Tour, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport (8-11 October) consists of four stages covering a total of 555km; three stages suit the sprinters, while the remaining stage finishes uphill after a 10.8km climb with gradients touching 12%. the General Classification is expected to be decided on the climb.
On the evening of the last day, the Tour will have the honour of hosting the very first UCI Cycling Gala awards ceremony. This unique event will celebrate the end of the UCI professional road cycling season with its stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.

Links: Abu Dhabi Tour downloads site for all content

SHIFT Active Media
Manolo Bertocchi

RCS Sport Cycling Press Office
Ph.: (+44) 1225 448333
Ph. (+44) 7979 241227
Tw.: @Shiftactive @ItalianManolo

RCS Sport
Stefano Diciatteo

RCS Sport Press Office Coordinator
Ph.: (+39) 02 25848758
Mob.: (+39) 335 5468466
Tw.: @rcssport - @stedicia

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The only WorldTour race in the Middle East and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events.