مرحباً (Marhaban!) from Stage 3 of the Abu Dhabi Tour

Al Ain, 25 February 2017 –  مرحباً (Marhaban!) from Stage 3, Al Maryah Island Stage, of the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour (23 - 26 February 2017), the only WorldTour race in the Middle East, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in partnership with RCS Sports and Events. Starting from Al Ain, the route leads, via two intermediate sprints, to the decisive climb of the race, Jebel Hafeet, where the finish sits at an altitude of 1,025 metres after 186km. The best climbers in the race - and indeed the world - will go toe-to-toe on what has become the Abu Dhabi Tour's iconic climb.


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.



The ceremonial roll out started on schedule at 12:30, After crossing the 2,000m neutralised zone, the peloton of 156 riders passed km 0 at 12.37.


Al Ain (12:30): scattered clouds, 26°C. Wind: moderate – 19kph.

Jebel Hafeet (17:00): clouds, 22°C. Wind: moderate – 19kph.





Stage 3 – Al Ain Stage (186km)

From Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet

Finish: Approx. 17:00

Race Headquarters: Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Al Ain Hotel Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain (UAE)


  • The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
  • The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points) - Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data). Jersey is worn by Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors)
  • The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) - Caleb Ewan (Orica - Scott)
  • The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Marco Canola (Nippo - Vini Fantini)


The third stage will take in both the sights of the city and the mountains. The first part, inside Al Ain city, is all on wide roads with roundabouts and speed bumps and is followed by a second part in the desert along wide and predominantly straight roads. At 15km to go, the route starts to rise slightly towards the final ascent, culminating in an uphill finish at an altitude of 1,025m, following an 11km climb with slopes with an 11% gradient.


Last km


The final climb features wide, raking bends on a three-lane highway. The gradient is mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% at 3km to go. There are short descents in the final kilometres before the last ramp with a straight finish on asphalt.


AL AIN - Start

Al Ain is one of the world's oldest permanently inhabited settlements, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is the second largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in the UAE. Al Ain is the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates.



The home of Al Ain FC, this 25,000-seat stadium is one of Al Ain’s tallest buildings and a recognisable landmark. The outer façade design is inspired by a palm trunk, an integral part of the UAE's heritage and culture. The stadium is part of a wider project, constructed in phases, which will ultimately include residential, commercial and entertainment areas, as well as a luxury hotel and sports facilities.


QASR AL MUWAIJI - 183km to go

The historic Qasr Al Muwaiji – birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE – is one of the UAE’s most significant historic buildings and is located in the centre of the Al Ain. Built in the early 20th century, this simple but striking building was originally used as a diwan (a council or seat of governance) and as a place for the community to congregate. A permanent exhibition, housed in an elegant glass-walled space within the courtyard of Qasr al Muwaiji, tells the story of the fort and its inhabitants.


AL JAHILI FORT - 180km to go

The picturesque Al Jahili Fort is one of the UAE’s most historic buildings. It was erected in 1891 to defend the city and protect precious palm groves. The former headquarters of the Oman Trucial Scouts, the force that protected the mountain passes and kept inter-tribal peace, it also served as a residence for the local governor. The fort has been carefully restored and now houses a permanent exhibition of the work of British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger (whom the locals affectionately refer to as ‘Mubarak Bin London’) and his 1940s crossings of the Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) desert.


AL AIN OASIS - 180km to go


Once an important and lush oasis on the caravan route from the Emirates to Oman, Al Ain (in English “the spring”) is the core of the Emirate’s historical heritage, one of the oldest settlements that has been always been inhabited and is part of the Unesco World Heritage. The Al Ain oasis features a series of irrigation canals (an irrigation system over 3,000 years old, the falaj) that provide water to the palm plantations. It stretches across about 1,200 hectares (approx. 3,000 acres) and has over 147,000 date palms of 100 different varieties. Entry is free.

AL QATTARA SOUQ - 170km to go

Dating back to the mid-20th century and founded by the late Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the palm-lined road linking Al Ain’s Al Qattara and Al Jimi oases, the historic Souq Al Qattara has been renovated and re-opened. A traditional handicrafts market takes place here every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October to May, encouraging local families to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s heritage through an active involvement in traditional craft production. The Souq is linked to the redeveloped Al Qattara Fort, now home to a popular arts centre, featuring hundreds of modern exhibits, workshops, a cafe and a library.


AL HILI - 168km to go

Just 10km outside Al Ain (on the road to Dubai) the Hili Archaeological Gardens combine both a public garden and the archaeological site with remnants of a Bronze Age settlement (2,500-2,000 BC), which was excavated and restored in 1995. It is the source of some of the richest finds in the area, many of which are believed to be over 4,000 years old. Hili is near Fossil Valley, an area rich in a variety of fossils dating back many thousands of years to when it was covered by sea.



Green Mubazzarah is a hot springs park at the foothills of Jebel Hafeet and was inaugurated in 2004. You find grass fields, rivers, artificial lakes, hot springs and chalets. It looks like a Swiss village not far from Geneva that made a lasting impression on the late Sheikh Zayed, the founder of the United Arab Emirates, during a vacation.




Rising 1,240 metres, Jebel Hafeet is the emirate’s highest peak, and the UAE’s second. This towering rocky mountain, which stands guard over Al Ain and borders Oman, is forged out of craggy limestone that has been weathered over millions of years. Significant fossil discoveries have been made in the area, which are vital pieces in the jigsaw of the city’s ancient history. Over 500 ancient burial tombs dating back 5,000 years have been found in the Jebel Hafeet foothills. Once you reach the top, you'll be rewarded with magnificent views over Al Ain.


182 countries will broadcast this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour, right across the five continents. The 2017 edition of the race will be shown live by 12 TV networks. 

Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, the WorldTour event’s host broadcaster, will produce full coverage of each stage – every hard-fought kilometer, from the first pedal turn to the finale – in the United Arab Emirates and across the Middle East and North Africa with commentary in both Arabic and English. This coverage will be boosted with additional studio shows before and after each stage, featuring international cycling expert guests. 

Eurosport will show the Abu Dhabi Tour live in European and Asia Pacific networks, totalling almost 70 countries. In Italy all five stages will be broadcast on RAI Sport 1, while in France l’Equipe will show the event race on its free-to-air channel.


ESPN will broadcast from Dubai Tour in 35 territories in Spanish-speaking South America, Brazil and the Caribbean, and TDN will air exclusively in Central America and Mexico. North American fans can see live coverage on fuboTV in the USA and Canada and fans in Japan can follow the race via the live sports streaming platform DAZN. Supersport will air the Abu Dhabi Tour in South Africa,iwc portofino replica and Echonet will bring live coverage to the remainder of Sub-Saharan Africa.



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.