The Official Ambassador Mark Cavendish and many more champions to race. Eight days to go to the Abu Dhabi Tour: the official entry list is presented, with key riders’ extended biographies.

Abu Dhabi, 12 October 2016 – Everything is ready for the second edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the four-stage race in the UAE capital territory, starting Thursday 20 October from Madinat Zayed with an impressive parade of champions. The event’s success and growing stature means that from 2017 it will join the WorldTour calendar, the UCI’s highest event ranking. 

It will be the premiere racing appearance for the Official Ambassador Mark Cavendish on the Abu Dhabi routes, as last year a shoulder injury meant he was unable to ride. Alongside the Manxman the entry list boasts the Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali (Italy), Alberto Contador (Spain), with his seven overall Grand Tour wins, the trio of puncheurs John Degenkolb (Germany), Michael Matthews (Australia) and Diego Ulissi (Italy),Tudor replica watches the sprinter André Greipel (Germany) and three gold medalists from Rio 2016: the Italian Elia Viviani (Omnium), the Briton Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Pursuit) and the Belgian Greg Van Avermaet (Individual Road Race).


Provisional Entry List

Official Route


Top 10 riders photo gallery

1) Mark Cavendish (British Isles - Team Dimension Data) Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador


Cavendish was born on 21 May 1985 in Douglas, Isle of Man (British Isles). He became a professional road cyclist in 2007 after some years as track specialist. With 11 victories in his first professional season he passed the record held by Alessandro Petacchi. After that, his palmarès has continued to grow: now “Cav” has won 27 individual Tour de France stages, 15 at the Giro d’Italia, and three at the Vuelta a España. In 2011, in Copenhagen (Denmark),swiss panerai replica he became UCI Road World Champion. Not to mention the one-day-race successes such as Milan-Sanremo (2009) and the National Road Race Championship two years ago. In 2016 Mark won the gold medal with Bradley Wiggins in the Madison at the Track World Championships; on 2 July he took the opening stage of the Tour de France in a sprint finish at Utah Beach and put on the maillot jaune for the first time; in August he won the silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the Omnium.

2) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA - Astana Pro Team)


Nibali, nicknamed "The Shark", was born in Messina, Italy, 14 November 1984. One of the greatest ever all rounders, he won the Vuelta a España in 2010, the Giro d'Italia in both 2013 and 2016 and the Tour de France in 2014. He is one of only six cyclists who have won all three Grand Tours in their career. Other achievements include two editions of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, the 2016 Tour of Oman, and the 2015 Giro di Lombardia.

3) Alberto Contador Velasco (ESP - Tinkoff)


Contador (6 December 1982) is undoubtedly one of the world’s best stage racers and a legend in his own lifetime. With seven overall Grand Tour wins – more than any other active rider – along with numerous wins in stage races, Alberto has a claim to being the finest overall cyclist of this generation. “El Pistolero”, a nickname given for his signature celebration move, won two Tours de France (2007, 2009), two Giri d’Italia (2008, 2015), three Vuelta a España (2008, 2012, 2014).

4) John Degenkolb (GER - Team Giant-Alpecin)


Degenkolb, a puncheur from Gera, Germany (born 7 January 1989), has won a Milano-Sanremo (2015), a Paris-Roubaix (2015), a Paris-Tours (2013), a Gent-Wevelgem (2014), and a stage at the Giro d’Italia (2013), along with ten stage victories at the Vuelta a España (2012, 2014, 2015). The dream for “Dege” is to finally win a Tour de France stage after several second places. John lives in Frankfurt am Main.

5) Michael Matthews (AUS - Orica BikeExchange)


Matthews is an Australian track and road cyclist, born 26 September 1990, who counts the honours of 2010 Under 23 Road Race World Champion and a silver medal in the 2015 Road Race World Championship on his palmares. “Bling” (a nickname following his tattoos and designer gear) won a stage at the 2016 Tour de France, four stages of the Giro d’Italia (2014, 2015), and four at the Vuelta a España (2013, 2014).

6) Diego Ulissi (ITA - Lampre Merida)


Ulissi was born in Cecina (15 July 1989) and won the Junior World Road Race Championships in 2006 and 2007. Known as “Il Pendolino” (The Little Train), his palmarès includes six Giro d'Italia stages, the 2013 edition of Milano-Torino and the overall classification of the 2011 Tour of Slovenia.

7) André Greipel (GER - Lotto Soudal)


Greipel, born in Rostock, East Germany, 16 July 1982, is one of the best sprinters of his age, whose powerful physique earned him the nickname “The Gorilla”. He has won 11 stages at the Tour de France (2011-2016), six Giro d’Italia stages (in four different editions), and four at the Vuelta a España. André was first in the overall classification of the Australian “Tour Down Under” race twice, in 2008 and 2010.

8) Elia Viviani (ITA - Team Sky)


Viviani, born 7 February 1989, is one of the most accomplished sprinters in the peloton, having claimed an impressive 40 victories since turning pro in 2010. As well as being a talented road rider, Elia also has an admirable record on the track: five gold medals in the European Track Championships (Points Race in 2012 and 2013, Madison in 2014, Omnium in 2014 and 2015) and, most recently, the gold at the Rio Olympic Games in the Omnium. Last year at the Abu Dhabi Tour he won two stages and the Points Classification.

9) Bradley Wiggins (GBR - Team Wiggins)


Sir Bradley Wiggins (28 April 1980) is a British professional road and track racing cyclist who rides for the UCI Continental Team Wiggins. In 2012 “Wiggo” won the Tour de France, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie; in 2013 the Tour of Britain and in 2014 the Tour of California and the World Time Trial Championship. Wiggins has also won five Olympic gold medals: Individual Pursuit (2004, 2008), Team Pursuit (2008, 2016), and the 2012 Time Trial. In June 2015, Sir Bradley set the new UCI Hour Record with 54.526km.

10) Greg Van Avermaet (BEL - BMC Racing Team)


Belgian puncheur Van Avermaet (17 May 1985), won the Individual Road Race at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Other achievements include two stage wins in the Tour de France (2015, 2016), the Points Classification and a stage win in the 2008 Vuelta a España, and the 2016 Tirreno-Adriatico. “Avi” has also won several classic cycle races: the Tour de Wallonie in 2011 and 2013; Paris-Tours in 2011; and both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the GP de Montréal in 2016. This July he held the yellow jersey at the Tour de France for three stages.


The Abu Dhabi Tour, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council with the collaboration of RCS Sport, will take place from 20 to 23 October. 



The second edition of the UCI Cycling Gala, an event conceived to celebrate the end of the UCI professional road cycling season and its stakeholders, will take place in the evening of October 18th. The event will be produced by Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport, in the presence of biggest names in professional men’s and women’s road cycling, UCI Management Committee members, representatives of national federations, international media and all the athletes that will take part to the upcoming Abu Dhabi Tour: during the evening the UCI Cycling Gala will also feature the official Team Presentation of the Abu Dhabi Tour. The following day (19 October), race preliminary operations and Top Rider press conference are scheduled.

Abu Dhabi Tour Media Kit

From the official online pressroom the media can download high resolution pictures of the 2015 race, the various press conferences, the opening ceremony and the final evening which was dedicated to the very first UCI Cycling Gala.

In order to download the pictures, just go to (username: press / password: press), select “Scarica contenuti/Download contents” on the top right, choose “2015” or "2016" from the menu on the left, then “Ciclismo”, and then “Abu Dhabi Tour”. The photos are free of charge for editorial use, as long as both the Abu Dhabi Tour and the photographer’s name is quoted. 

In addition to the photos, the official promo video is available for the same purposes. The clip is free of charge for editorial use exclusively on internet, as long as Abu Dhabi Tour is accredited. Here is the link.



SHIFT Active Media
Manolo Bertocchi

RCS Sport Cycling Press Office
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RCS Sport
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RCS Sport Press Office Coordinator
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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.