Abu Dhabi, 22 February 2017 – On Wednesday afternoon the 14 brightest lights in the Abu Dhabi Tour’s galaxy of stars met the international media in a pre-race press conference at the Yas Marina Circuit. While Grand Tour winners Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana spoke of their hopes for Saturday’s mountain-top finish, world-leading sprinters Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel looked forward to their high-speed battles at the four-day race organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council omega replica watches (ADSC) in collaboration with RCS Sport and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council. As of this year the Abu Dhabi Tour boasts UCI WorldTour status, making it officially the most prestigious cycling race in the Middle East.


Tanel Kangert (EST - Astana Pro Team): "I know my limits and I know that I won't win the Abu Dhabi Tour this time. I’m not really prepared for this week as my races will come later. I will ride with team leader Aru and hope to get a good panerai replica watches result with him".


Fabio Aru (ITA - Astana Pro Team): "I'm very pleased to meet Vincenzo here. We hadn't seen each other for a few months. This is the first time we've been rivals, but I'm not only focused on him. The level of contenders here is so high that we need to mark a number of riders. I've already raced here and I liked it. I want to try my best to have a good race: I will give 100%".



Rui Costa (POR - UAE Abu Dhabi): "I already won in Argentina with this team and now we’re very proud to have the Emirates logo on our jersey. It’s our home race, so it’s very important to do well. We’re a strong team with good sprinters and we’ve also brought the best riders we have for the climbs. We’ll try to give our best".

Vincenzo Nibali (ITA - Bahrain - Merida): "For us at Bahrain-Merida it’s a very important race, We’ll try to do very well. We have Niccolò Bonifazio for the sprint stages and I’m looking forward to the mountain-top finish. I’ve just done a training camp with the other guys so it’s good to come here and see how the team’s gelled and also how I measure up to other big riders".


Alberto Contador (ESP - Trek - Segafredo): "The main reason why there are so many champions is that this is now a WorldTour race, very important for all the teams, plus this is ideal to prepare  for the other big races of the season. My team here has two leaders in me and Bauke Mollema. I had a good winter and am ready to race here with all of them. I will focus on Stage 3".


Nairo Quintana (COL - Movistar Team): "The third stage is ideal for me: we have a team here that should support me very well on the mountain. We need to see how I'll perform and how the many great rivals in the race will perform. I feel very well at the moment".


Steven Kruijswijk (NED - Team Lotto NL - Jumbo): "I think for me this race is really good preparation at the start of the season. There are a lot of Dutch riders here, which is nice, and the level’s also really high. My big goal for the season is the Giro d’Italia, of course".


Tejay van Garderen (USA - BMC Racing Team): "I haven't changed my off-season preparation. I spent the winter in California with my family, training hard and well. I didn't have a great 2016 and I hope 2017 will take a turn for the better".



Romain Bardet (FRA - AG2R La Mondiale): "This is the ideal race to start the season, following my performance in Oman. Here in the UAE we have good weather, great riders, a tough course and I really hope I will compete at my best and have a good result here".

Marcel Kittel (GER - Quick - Step Floors): "It was a great start in Dubai and I want my good form to continue. It’ll be different here – there are more sprinters and the level’s really world class – so it’s a challenge. I’m curious to see how well I’ll perform".


Caleb Ewan (AUS - Orica - Scott): "I think this is probably the best sprinting field I’ve raced against since turning pro. I’m excited to see how I’ll go against these guys, especially as I’ve not raced since the Tour Down Under".



Elia Viviani (ITA - Team Sky): "For sure every sprint is a good chance to take my first win of the season. I’ve had some second places already this year and I’m hoping that run doesn’t continue. I have won twice before in Abu Dhabi here so maybe that’s a good omen. The stage on the Yas Marina circuit, in particular, is one of the greatest spectacles we have in professional cycling. The level here is really high, though".

André Greipel (GER - Lotto Soudal): "I had good fun the other night riding on the track alongside the amateurs. Now I will focus on the race. I hope that my condition will be good, we have here some of the best sprinters in the world and I can't wait to compete against them".



Mark Cavendish (UK - Team Dimension Data): "It's incredible seeing how the race has grown in a few years. I missed the first edition with a shoulder injury and I was gutted. But now it feels like being in a Grand Tour. Abu Dhabi Sports Council and RCS Sport have done an incredible job to grow this race to this level. In the next few days I want to win. My team is here with the same train setup as a Grand Tour race because I want to be at my very best when sprinting".


Abu Dhabi Tour Media Kit


From the official online pressroom the media can download high-resolution pictures of the race, the various press conferences and the opening ceremony. In order to download the pictures, just go to (username: press / password: press), select “Scarica contenuti/Download contents” on the top right, choose “2017” 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.


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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.