مرحباً (Marhaban!) from Stage 1 of the Abu Dhabi Tour

Madinat Zayed, 23 February 2017 – مرحباً (Marhaban!) from Stage 1, Emirates Motor Company Stage, of the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour (23 - 26 February 2017), the unique WorldTour race in the Middle East and organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events. Starting and finishing in Madinat Zayed, the largest town and the administrative centre of Al Gharbia, the largest and westernmost region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and raced almost entirely in the desert (189km), it's an ideal scenario for a final bunch sprint.


During the stage, 36 Green Jersey Points (of a race total of 152), 16 Black Jersey Points (of a race total of 72), and 16 seconds in time bonuses are up for grabs. Details of time bonuses and the various sub-competitions are given below.


The ceremonial roll out started on schedule at 12:30, After crossing the 8,000m neutralised zone, the peloton of 158 riders passed km 0 at 12.56.



Madinat Zayed (12.45): Sunny, 23°C. Wind: weak – 8kph

Madinat Zayed (17.00): Sunny, 26°C. Wind: moderate – 14kph




Stage 1 – Madinat Zayed Stage (189km)

From Madinat Zayed to Madinat Zayed

Finish: Approx. 17.00

Race Headquarters: Madinat HBZ Stadium, Madinat Zayed, UAE



The first stage runs entirely in the desert, with the first and last parts of about 45km on straight, wide roads. Once in Liwa, the riders will face the first Intermediate Sprint, followed by a section in the desert with constant undulations over dunes (adding up to a significant total elevation) which is ridden first in one direction, and then in the opposite direction. After the passage in Liwa comes the second Intermediate Sprint, then the course takes the riders to Madinat Zayed by reversing the route of the outward journey. 


Last km

A city path with only three proper bends, one to the right and two to the left (the final bend being to the left). The last kms are on wide, straight boulevards, punctuated by wide-curved roundabouts. The final km is straight on asphalt.



The Red Jersey, sponsored by Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time), and the White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992).

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.


The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points)

NOTE: Green Jersey Points - Intermediate Sprints: 8, 5, 3 and 1 points for positions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Finish line: 20-16-12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 (points for first ten riders).

A maximum possible 36 points are up for grabs in each of stages 1, 2 and 3; and 44 points are available on stage 4.


The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint classification by points)

NOTE: Black Jersey Points - Intermediate Sprints only: 8, 5, 3 and 1 points for positions 1, 2, 3 and 4.

A maximum possible 16 points available for each of the first three stages, and 24 points are available on stage 4.


MADINAT ZAYED - Start and Finish

Madinat Zayed, the administrative centre of the Al Gharbia region with 29,000 inhabitants, was founded in 1968 by Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The main tourist attraction of the town is its camel racing track.



Top class educational complex with four-storey buildings to accommodate more than 3,000 students. In addition to classrooms, laboratories and lecture halls dedicated for each educational institution, the complex includes a 1,200-seat auditorium, libraries for boys and girls and sport facilities.


SHAMS SOLAR POWER STATION - 181km to go and 13km to go

Shams is one of the world’s largest solar power stations, with a capacity of 100 megawatts covering an area of over 2.5km2. The parabolic trough mirror system of solar collectors concentrates the sun’s rays that are then transformed in electric power through a turbine. The power station’s impact can be compared with planting 1.5 million trees or reducing the road traffic in the country by 15,000 vehicles.


LIWA OASIS - 132km to go and 62km to go

A historical oasis at the outskirts of the legendary Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), in the Al Gharbia region, Liwa is famous for its vast desert sand plains and high dunes. It features a large date palm plantation of more than 100,000 trees – an ecosystem that has been officially recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as it is a valuable mine of genetic resources and biodiversity, and a site of great cultural heritage.


QASR AL SARAB - 97km to go

This impressive building complex stands in a luxury oasis in the middle of the desert. It looks like an ancient fortress city perched over a valley of rocky dunes, but is in fact a five-star resort, perfect for taking morning walks on the dunes, riding on camels or off-road vehicles, and enjoying falconry shows and barbecue parties in the desert.


This year’s Abu Dhabi Tour is scheduled to be broadcast in 184 countries, in the world’s five continents. All but one of the 13 television networks set to show the tour will cover the race live.

The event’s host broadcaster, Abu Dhabi Sports, is producing full coverage of each stage, and airing to its audience with both Arabic and English commentary in the UAE and across the whole of the Middle East & North Africa region. The domestic coverage will be supported with special studio shows before and after each stage, featuring an international cycling expert.

Eurosport will broadcast the race live on its European and Asia Pacific networks, covering almost 70 countries. In Italy the Abu Dhabi Tour will also feature on RAI Sport platforms, and fans in France can see all four stages exclusively on l’Equipe’s free-to-air channel.

ESPN will show the Abu Dhabi Tour in 35 territories across Spanish-speaking South America, Brazil and the Caribbeans, and TDN will broadcast to Mexico and Central America. In North America live coverage is to be shown on fuboTV, in New Zealand Sky Sports are showing race highlights and in Japan fans can watch via the live sports streaming platform DAZN.

Finally, the global network, Kwese Sports will bring the Abu Dhabi Tour live to all of Sub-Saharan Africa, except for South Africa, where the race will be covered by Supersport.



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.