World's top names in cycling line up for the only Middle Eastern race in the UCI WorldTour calendar. With eight days until the Abu Dhabi Tour starts the entry list is announced, with key riders’ extended biographies.

Download:Abu Dhabi Tour Provisional Entry List / Riders Photo Gallery.

Abu Dhabi, 15 February 2017 – Many of the brightest stars in the world of cycling will be at the start of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the only Middle Eastern race in the UCI WorldTour calendar. 16 of 18 UCI WorldTeams accepted the invitation from the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, including riders such as Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Aru, Steven Kruijswijk, Tejay van Garderen and Romain Bardet as General Classification (GC) contenders. Many of the world’s best sprinters will compete too, with names such as Mark Cavendish, Marcel Kittel, Elia Viviani, André Greipel and Caleb Ewan fighting for stage victories.


Top Riders Profiles

Nairo Quintana (COL - Movistar Team)

Born in Cómbita, Colombia, 4 February 1990, the diminutive climbing specialist Quintana has two Grand Tour titles to his name: the 2014 Giro d'Italia and 2016 Vuelta a España, as well as second places overall in the Tour de France in 2013 and 2015 and the third step of the Paris podium last year. Nairo’s palmares includes more than 30 victories, the most recent being the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Romain Bardet (FRA - AG2R - La Mondiale)

Born in Brioude, France, 9 November 1990, Bardet is a climber and was second in the General Classification at the 2016 Tour de France, with a stage win in Saint Gervais-les-Bains. In 2015 Romain won a stage at the Grand Boucle in Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne as well as the Combativity Award. In 2016 he was runner-up at Tour of Oman, the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Giro dell'Emilia – and would love to go one better!

Mark Cavendish (British Isles - Team Dimension Data)

Cavendish was born on 21 May 1985 in Douglas, Isle of Man (British Isles) and 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 15 stages at the Giro d’Italia, a mighty 27 at the Tour de France, and three at the Vuelta a España. In 2011, in Copenhagen (Denmark), he became UCI Road World Champion, and boasts one-day-race successes such as Milano-Sanremo (2009) and the National Road Race Championships. In 2016 Mark won the gold medal with Bradley Wiggins in the Madison at the Track World Championships; 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; then won the silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the Omnium. He also won two stages and the Points Classification at last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour.

Vincenzo Nibali (ITA - Bahrain Merida)

Nibali, born in Messina, Italy, 14 November 1984, is one of the greatest ever all rounders, being one of only six cyclists who have won all three Grand Tours: the Vuelta a España in 2010, the Giro d'Italia in both 2013 and 2016 and the Tour de France in 2014. Lo Squalo – the Shark’s – other achievements include two editions of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, the 2016 Tour of Oman, and the 2015 Giro di Lombardia. He took the overall General Classification fourth place in last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour and looks set to challenge again with his new team.

Marcel Kittel (GER - Quick-Step Floors)

Born on 11 May 1988 in Arnstadt, Germany, and a professional rider since 2011, Kittel’s palmares includes a huge 75 victories, including the last two years’ Dubai Tour General Classification and Point Classification doubles, along with 14 Grand Tour stage wins (four at the Giro d’Italia, nine at the Tour de France and one at the Vuelta a España). Marcel will be looking to carry his scintillating Middle East form forward in his Abu Dhabi Tour debut.

Rui Costa (POR - UAE Abu Dhabi)

Rui Alberto Faria da Costa was born in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, 5 October 1986. Rui Costa is an all rounder with an impressive palmares that includes the 2013 UCI Road World Championship in Italy, three stage wins at the Tour de France and three times the General Classification at the Tour de Suisse, along with numerous one-day podiums, and representing his country at the Olympics.

André Greipel (GER - Lotto Soudal)

Greipel, born in Rostock, East Germany, 16 July 1982, is one of the best sprinters of his generation, with a powerful physique which has 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” twice, in 2008 and 2010.

Fabio Aru (ITA - Astana Pro Team)

Aru was born in San Gavino Monreale, a town in Sardinia, Italy, 3 July 1990. He’s a climber and the overall winner of the 2015 Vuelta a España. Fabio has taken to the Giro d’Italia podium in both 2014 and 2015, and was runner-up in the General classification at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour. With Nibali’s departure, Aru is now the clear team leader.

Steven Kruijswijk (NED - Team LottoNL–Jumbo)

Kruijswijk was born in Nuenen, Netherlands, 7 June 1987. A talented all rounder, he held the Maglia Rosa for five days at the last Giro d’Italia and finished fourth in the General Classification with an amazing, brave performance – after holding the blue Mountains classification jersey for three days the previous year. Steven’s palmares includes a National Under-23 Road Race Championships (2009), a stage win at the 2011 Tour de Suisse and the overall 2014 Arctic Race of Norway.

Caleb Ewan (AUS - Orica-Scott)

Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 11 June 1994, Ewan is a talented sprinter who claimed 11 professional victories in his first season, including a stage at the Vuelta a España on his Grand Tour debut. Caleb is in superb form in 2017, having won four stages at the Santos Tour Down Under and was first in the overall Points Classification.

Tejay van Garderen (USA - BMC Racing Team)

Van Garderen was born in Tacoma, Washington and raised in Bozeman, Montana, USA, 12 August 1988. He is one of BMC Racing Team’s leading stage race and Grand Tour riders with two fifth place results at the 2012 and 2014 Tour de France and the White Jersey for best young rider in 2012. Tejay’s professional wins include the 2013 Tour of California and two editions of USA Pro Challenge (2013 and 2014). As a time trial specialist his palmares boasts a Team Time Trial at the 2015 Tour de France, two at the Vuelta a España (2010 and 2015) and one at the Tirreno-Adriatico (2016).

Elia Viviani (ITA - Team Sky)

Viviani, born 7 February 1989 in Isola della Scala, Italy, is one of the most accomplished sprinters in the peloton, having claimed 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, in 2016, the gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the Omnium. He won two stages at the 2015 Abu Dhabi Tour and and wore the Red Jersey as leader of the GC and was first in the Points Classification (Green Jersey). At the 2017 Dubai Tour Viviani’s 5th overall and 2nd place on the final sprint help equip him as a big Middle East stage-race contender.


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

Ph.: (+44) 1225 448333

Ph. (+44) 7979 241227


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RCS Sport

Stefano Diciatteo


RCS Sport Press Office Coordinator

Ph.: (+39) 02 25848758

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Tw.: @rcssport - @stedicia

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The Spanish rider wins Stage 5, Abu Dhabi Airport Stage, on the top of Jebel Hafeet
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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.