Dennis powers to time trial victory and GC lead

ITT World Champion Tom Dumoulin hampered by a mechanical. Tomorrow, the last and decisive stage, with summit finish at Jebel Hafeet

Al Maryah Island, 24 February 2018 – Triple Australian Champion for Individual Time Trial Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) claimed Stage 4 in the windy streets of Abu Dhabi as he clocked the 12.6km course 14 seconds faster than Spanish champion Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) and 16 seconds faster than his compatriot and team-mate Miles Scotson while the other favorite, World Champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) suffered a mechanical and lost 31 seconds after he scored the best intermediate time check with an advantage of one second over Dennis who will start the conclusive stage up to Jabel Hafeet in the Red Jersey.

1 - Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) 12.6km in 14’21”, average speed 52.682km/h
2 - Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) at 14”
3 - Miles Scotson (BMC Racing Team) at 16”

1 - Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team) 
2 - Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) at 14”
3 - Miles Scotson (BMC Racing Team) at 16”


  • The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) - Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team)
  • The Green Jersey, sponsored by Emirates Post (General individual classification by points) - Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)
  • The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1993) - Miles Scotson (BMC Racing Team)
  • The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) - Nikolay Trusov (Gazprom - Rusvelo)


Rohan Dennis
 said in the press conference: “It was never straightforward. We had headwind, crosswind, tailwind… we never knew where it’d come from. Jabel Hafeet is a pretty good climb for me. It’s a hard climb but it suits a TT rider. It’s not a technical run in like we usually find in Europe. We’ll put everything into keeping this Red Jersey. It’d be great for me to win the overall classification of a stage race outside of Australia or America. Obviously, Dumoulin is right up there, but Valverde is probably the most threatening rider. He was strong on the flat, he’ll be dangerous uphill too. Crashing out of the Giro wasn’t great last year, so I’ll have a second crack this year, I’ll just keep cracking away. Everything Dumoulin has done is a confidence booster in what’s possible for me.” 

Best young rider Miles Scotson said: “We have four BMC riders in the top 10, Rohan won and I was third so we couldn’t be happier. The course suited me. Shorter time trials still suit me more than long ones at the moment. You can see I lost some time on Rohan. He took 15 seconds out of me in the last 5km or so. With Rohan in this position, it’ll be 100% for him tomorrow. We want to chase the overall. That’s what we’re here for. I’ll give what I can to him.”

Data collected by Velon’s devices on the riders’ bikes tells the detailed story of today's stage: Data and an explanation guide can be downloaded here.

Stage 5 – Abu Dhabi Airports Stage (199km)
From Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet
Sign-on procedures: 10:15-11:35
Alignment: 11:40
Start - KM 0: 11:45 (transfer 1,100m)
Finish: Approx. 16:45
Race Headquarters: Mercure Grand, Jebel Hafeet, Al Ain Hotel - Jebel Hafeet

Stage 5 is half urban and half in the mountains. From the start inside the inhabited part of Al Ain, the first section of the route is always on wide roads with roundabouts and speed bumps, while the second part in the desert is on mostly wide and straight roads. With 15km to go, the route starts climbing slightly towards the uphill finish. The stage finish is at 1025m above sea level after 11km of climbing featuring maximum gradients of 11%.

Last kilometres
The final climb is characterised by broader bends on a three-lane road. The gradients mostly around 8 to 9% with a steepest section peaking at 11% with 3km to go. There's a very brief downhill in the last kilometre before the final uphill stretch. The finishing straight is on flat tarmac.

Abu Dhabi Airports Stage – from Qasr Al Muwaiji to Jebel Hafeet

199km to finish line – Start: Qasr Al Muwaiji
The historic Qasr Al Muwaiji – birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE – has been restored to its former glory and reopened to the public as a museum and permanent exhibition. Qasr al Muwaiji is an impressive structure in the centre of Al Ain city that has watched over the oasis for more than 100 years. 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.
199km to finish line: Al Ain
A 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi city, Al Ain is one of the world's oldest permanently inhabited settlements, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city abounds in picturesque forts and historic buildings that were all primarily erected to defend the city and protect its precious palm groves and many oases.
195km to finish line: Al Jahili Fort
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. It is set in beautifully landscaped gardens, and visitors are encouraged to explore it.
195km to finish line: Al Ain Oasis
In the heart of the city, the Al Ain Oasis has been opened as the UAE’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage site visitor experience. Spread over 1,200 hectares (nearly 3,000 acres) and containing more than 147,000 date palms of up to 100 different varieties, this impressive oasis is filled with palm plantations, many of which are still working farms. The cool, shady walkways transport you from the heat and noise of the city to a tranquil haven; all you will hear is birdsong and the rustle of the palm fronds. The site introduces visitors to the delicate oasis eco-system and the importance it has played in the development of the emirate. 
190km to finish line: Al Qattara Souq
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. There’s a traditional handicrafts market takes here every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October to May. The Souq is linked to the redeveloped Al Qattara Fort, now home to a popular arts center, featuring hundreds of modern exhibits, workshops, a café and a library.
185km to finish line: Al Ain National Museum
The oldest museum in the UAE, Al Ain National Museum was established in 1969 under the guidance of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Charting the history of Al Ain from the Stone Age through to the foundation of the UAE, the museum houses artefacts discovered in the many archaeological sites scattered throughout the region, including flint tools and arrowheads dating to the sixth millennium BCE. Divided into three main sections – Archaeology, Ethnography and Gifts, Al Ain National Museum offers insight into the local traditions and culture that have defined the region.
185km to finish line: Al Hili
Just 10km outside Al Ain (on the road to Dubai) the Hilli 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. Hilli 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.
185km to finish line: Al Ain Palace Museum
Located on the western edge of Al Ain Oasis, the Palace of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was built in 1937. It was converted into a museum in 1998 and opened to the public in 2001. The original structure comprised a private residence for the ruler and his family within a complex of courtyards. The architectural design and construction of Al Ain Palace is typical of historical buildings of the UAE. It features the characteristic ventilation structures that are designed to keep the buildings cool in the summer. Locally sourced and environmentally friendly building materials were used, including clay, adobe and plaster stones, as well as palm tree elements for roofing rooms, ceilings, doors and windows. The use of teak was later introduced in the renovation of the buildings.
60km to finish line: Sheikh Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
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 of this stadium is inspired by a palm tree 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.
20km to finish line: Al Ain Zoo
This 900 hectare park near the base of Jebel Hafeet is where visitors can see a large animal collection in enclosures that closely resemble their natural habitats. There are plenty of green public spaces for picnics and also playgrounds, a cafeteria and a train tour of the wildlife area. The Al Ain Zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, with at least 30% of its 180 species considered endangered. Conservation efforts have been strengthened by partnerships with San Diego Zoo, the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

20km to finish line: Al Murabbah Fort
Situated near the Eastern Fort of Al Ain, Al Murabba Fort is the former police station from 1948. The three-storey tower was named after its almost square shape (murabba’ is Arabic for square). Nowadays the tower is open to the public and gives an impression of the architecture for government administrations in the Gulf region before the oil-era.
15km to finish line: Wadi Adventure
The region’s first man-made white water rafting, kayaking and surf facility built in the foothills of the majestic Jebel Hafeet. The park’s 3.3 metre man-made surf wave is the world’s largest and its 1.7 kilometre kayaking channel network is the world’s longest. Bringing together water and adrenaline-filled adventure, Wadi Adventure makes a great day out for water sports enthusiasts and families. 
13km to finish line: Green Mubazzarah
Strategically located at the feet of the Jebel Hafeet Mountains, Green Mubazzarah occupies part of the rocky mountain side and been landscaped with rolling grassy hillsides alongside streams, hot springs and waterfalls. 
Green Mubazzarah Chalets – less than a 40-minute drive from Al Ain International Airport and a 15-minute drive from Wadi Adventure – make a great retreat away from the clamour of the metropolis providing guests with a deluxe lodging and intimate access to the great outdoors.
0km to finish line – Finish: Jebel Hafeet
Rising 1,240 meters, 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 on 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.

Sunday 25 February ­ - Stage 5 ­ ABU DHABI AIRPORTS STAGE: Qasr Al Muwaiji­ - Jabel Hafeet (199km)

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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.