The world’s top riders will be at the start: among them Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Steven Kruiswijk, Tejay Van Garderen, Romain Bardet as General Classification contenders and the sprinters Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Elia Viviani, A

Abu Dhabi, 24 January 2017 – 16 UCI WorldTeams and four UCI Professional Continental Teams will start the Abu Dhabi Tour, scheduled from 23 to 26 February 2017 and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport. The Abu Dhabi Tour is the only Middle Eastern race on the 2017 UCI WorldTour calendar. Each team will consist of eight riders. 


Many of the best riders on the planet have confirmed their participation in the race, with names such as previous Giro d’Italia and last Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana, Tour de France runner up Romain Bardet, previous Tour de France, Giro panerai replica d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner Vincenzo Nibali, former Vuelta winner Fabio Aru and a number of other top-class contenders for the final General Classification victory. Among the sprinters we’ll see the very finest from the WorldTour peloton going shoulder to shoulder, wheel to wheel, including the Manxman Mark Cavendish, German duo Marcel Kittel and André Greipel and the new Australian sensation Caleb Ewan. The main potential protagonists are highlighted below in their team's resumes.



AG2R Prévoyance joined the Chazal-Vanille et Mûre team (formed in 1992 by Vincent Lavenu) as co-partner in 1997 and became principal partner three years later: in 2008 the team was renamed AG2R La Mondiale. It has 417 wins to date,iwc ingenieur replica 22 of them earned at Grand Tours: 17 at the Tour de France, three at the Vuelta a España, and two at the Giro d’Italia.  AG2R also boasts four Tour Down Under victories (2000, 2003, 2006, 2007), and one Paris-Nice win (2014, Carlos Betancur), along with one Tour de Suisse (1997, Christophe Agnolutto), one Tirreno-Adriatico (1998, Rolf Jaermann), two Tour du Haut Var (2014, 2015), two Critérium du Dauphiné (1999, 2007), and two Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana triumphs (1998, 1999). The 2017 roster for the Abu Dhabi Tour will include the French Romain Bardet.



Astana is more than just a cycling team: it’s part of the Astana President’s Professional Sports Club that was created by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev in 2012, focused on several different sports including football, hockey, basketball, motorsports, rally-raid and boxing. Astana have shown great form racing in the Emirates, winning the 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour with the Estonian Tanel Kangert. Astana’s palmares includes an Olympic gold medal (Alexander Vinokurov, Men’s Road Race, London 2012), eight Grand Tour victories, 37 Grand Tour stage wins, and 164 others victories. Under the Abu Dhabi spotlights will be the Italian Fabio Aru.



Founded in 2016, Bahrain-Merida is the the first Middle Eastern team to achieve the WorldTour license – the highest level of professional cycling. The team is supported by a consortium of businesses and partners from the small island country of Bahrain and His Highness Sheikh Nasser. Under the General Manager Brent Copeland, the 2017 roster is composed of 28 riders from 12 different countries. For Abu Dhabi the roster includes the last year’s Giro d’Italia winner, Vincenzo Nibali



This UCI WorldTour team headquartered in Santa Rosa, California was formed in 2006. A founding member of Velon, BMC Racing Team has recorded more than 30 wins per season since 2013 thanks to one day classic specialists and Grand Tour contenders. Two times TTT World Champions (2014 and 2015), winner of the 2011 Tour de France with Cadel Evans and most recently winner of the 2016 Rio Olympic Road Race with Greg Van Avermaet. For Abu Dhabi look at Tejay van Garderen.



The UCI Continental Team founded in 2010 as NetApp, was upgraded the following season to Pro Continental status and enjoyed its Paris-Roubaix and Tour de Suisse debuts. Last season Bora-Hansgrohe achieved ten victories and signed the World Champion Peter Sagan, as it reached WorldTour status. 



The oldest sponsor in the peloton, Lotto became co-sponsor of Tönissteiner in 1984, and assumed the team’s main sponsorship a year later, while Soudal joined as the second name sponsor on 1st January 2015. To 2016 the team has more than 900 wins in its palmares, including 35 Tour de France stage victories. For Abu Dhabi Tour look at André Greipel.



The world’s best team for four consecutive years, according to the UCI WorldTour ranking, Movistar is one of the most established squads. It was founded in 1980 as Reynolds (till 1989), then became very famous as Banesto thanks to the multiple victories of Miguel Indurain (1990-2004), then Caisse d’Epargne (2005, with Illes Baleares to 2010), becoming Movistar from 2011. In total, 852 various victories, 14 of them Grand Tours, with seven in the Tour de France, three in the Giro d’Italia, and four in the Vuelta a España. Nairo Quintana is certainly the Movistar Team rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour. 



This Australian professional road race cycling team launched in 2011 joined the WorldTour from 2012, and also has a women's squad. The men’s team’s palmares includes 21 Grand Tour wins: three at the Tour de France, seven at the Giro d’Italia, and 11 at the Vuelta a España. Other main victories include Milan-Sanremo (2012), Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2014), three Tour Down Under titles (2012, 2014, 2016) – all courtesy of Simon Gerrans – along with the 2013 Tour de Pologne win by Pieter Weening, the very first Abu Dhabi Tour (2015, Esteban Chaves) and last year’s Paris-Roubaix with Mathew Hayman. The roster for the race includes Caleb Ewan, who recently won four stages and even the points classification at the Tour Down Under.



This WorldTour team, established in 2003, is based in Wevelgem, Belgium, a city that’s symbolic to Flemish cycling. Patrick Lefevere, one of the most victorious managers in the history of cycling, is in charge of Sports Management. Since its inception the team has recorded more than 500 victories, including 15 Monument Classics, four Road World Championships, five ITT World Championships, two TTT World Championships, two World Cups and an Olympic title. Current top riders for the team are sprinter Marcel Kittel (winner of eight stages at the Tour de France), Tom Boonen (four-time Paris-Roubaix winner), three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra (winner of Paris-Roubaix 2014), Dan Martin (winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013 and Giro di Lombardia 2014) and the Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels. Marcel Kittel is the Quick - Step Floors rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour. 



Founded in 2007, Dimension Data became the first ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. In the team’s palmares you can find a Milan-Sanremo victory (Gerald Ciolek in 2013), six Tour de France stages, one Vuelta stage victory, two Tour of Britain overall classification wins (Edvald Boasson Hagen, 2015; Steve Cummings, 2016), and 36 National Championships. The team was originally known as MTN–Qhubeka: Qhubeka is an Nguni word meaning to carry on, progress, or move forward. Qhubeka is part of World Bicycle Relief, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation through bicycles – since 2005, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 275,000 bicycles to developing countries. The 2017 roster has as its main character the Manxman Mark “Cav” Cavendish. Last year the sprinter won two stages and the Green Jersey (General Classification by points) here in Abu Dhabi and undoubtedly his goal will be to earn as many WorldTour points as possible.



Katusha, originally the first Russian cycling team licensed to compete at WorldTour level, was formed in late 2008 by Igor Makarov, president of the Russian Cycling Federation and a member of the UCI Management Committee. The team now is based in Switzerland. From 2009 to 2016 the team has 217 race victories along with 384 podiums, establishing itself as one of the world’s best professional cycling teams, finishing second in 2012 and 2015, and third in 2013 in the UCI WorldTour team’s ranking. The Team Katusha-Alpecin palmares boasts 22 Grand Tour stage wins. In 2009 it won the Amstel Gold Race (Sergei Ivanov), and in 2012 and 2013 both the La Flèche Wallonne (Joaquim Rodríguez and Daniel Moreno) and the Giro di Lombardia (both Rodríguez). 2014 saw victories for Alexander Kristoff at Milan-San Remo and Giampaolo Caruso at Milano-Torino; while 2015 featured wins for Luca Paolini at Gent-Wevelgem and Kristoff at the Tour of Flanders. Look out for Team Katusha-Alpecin’s Ilnur Zakarin in Abu Dhabi.



This cycling team was founded for the 1984 season under the name Kwantum, anchored by Jan Raas, and from 2015 the head sponsor has been Lotto-Jumbo. For the Abu Dhabi Tour the probable roster will include Steven Kruijswijk.



The team was founded in 2009 with the aim to win the Tour de France within five years… and the first Grand Tour victory came in 2012 at the Grand Boucle with Bradley Wiggins, soon followed by three more from Chris Froome (2013, 2015, 2016), along with more than 130 stage race wins and 15 one day competitions. The Olympic Omnium champion Elia Viviani won stage 2 at both the 2015 and 2016 Abu Dhabi Tours and will probably start in the upcoming 2017 edition.



Founded in 2005, this German WorldTour team is sponsored by the international tour operator Sunweb. The team’s major achievements include 32 Grand Tour stage wins (11 at the Tour de France, six at the Giro d’Italia, and 15 at the Vuelta a España), the 2013 Paris-Tours victory, and in 2015 both the Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix classics. While between sponsors at the end of 2011, the team adopted the name "Project 1T4i", standing for "team spirit, inspiration, integrity, improvement and innovation”. For Abu Dhabi Tour look at Tom Dumoulin.



Founded in 2011 as Leopard Trek, this United States licensed team’s big achievements are the Vuelta a España victory by Chris Horner in 2013, 25 national titles in five years, two Tours of Flanders and a Paris-Roubaix win, thanks to Fabian Cancellara. Bauke Mollema could be the Trek-Segafredo rider to watch in the next Abu Dhabi Tour.    



Known for 20 years as Lampre, the team will be called UAE Abu Dhabi for the 2017 season. Managed by the former Italian champion Giuseppe Saronni, has recorded 25 Grand Tour stage wins, one Giro d’Italia GC victory (2011), one Tour of Flanders (Alessandro Ballan, 2007) and two Tours of Lombardy (Damiano Cunego, 2007-2008). At Abu Dhabi look out for Italians Diego Ulissi and Andrea Guardini, who won the first ever stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour, and the former World Champion Rui Alberto Faria da Costa



Founded in 1982 by Bruno Reverberi, Bardiani-CSF has raced the Giro d’Italia 34 times and includes 25 stage wins in its palmares.



This global sports team made up entirely from athletes with diabetes comprises more than 100 cyclists, triathletes and runners, from 20 countries, and is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, based in the USA. Founded in 2005 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, Team Novo Nordisk’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. The cycling team has amassed more than 30 victories since 2008.



Founded in 2012, Pro Continental team Gazprom-RusVelo has a roster comprising 100% of Russian riders. The team has registered more than 60 race wins to 2016, including one Grand Tour stage at the 2016 Giro d’Italia with Alexander Foliforov’s ITT.



Team founded in 2013, this UCI Pro Continental team based in Italy is managed in collaboration with the Japan Cycling Federation to promote young Italian and Japanese talent. Nippo Vini Fantini’s captain, Damiano Cunego, wore the Maglia Azzurra of best climber for 13 days at the 2016 Giro d’Italia.



Abu Dhabi Tour Media Kit


From the official online pressroom the media can download high resolution pictures of the 2016 race, the various press conferences, the opening ceremony and the 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 “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.

SHIFT Active Media

Manolo Bertocchi


RCS Sport Cycling Press Office

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RCS Sport

Stefano Diciatteo


RCS Sport Press Office Coordinator

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Tw.: @rcssport - @stedicia

Viva Valverde – mountain-top victory
Kelderman and López also make the podium of the Abu Dhabi Tour
Alejandro Valverde wins the fourth Abu Dhabi Tour
The Spanish rider wins Stage 5, Abu Dhabi Airport Stage, on the top of Jebel Hafeet
Marhaban! from Stage 5 of the Abu Dhabi Tour
The only WorldTour race in the Middle East and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events.