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Abu Dhabi to host very first UCI Cycling Gala

The UAE capital will host the event and celebrates the end of the season: the date is set for Sunday 11 October – immediately after the Abu Dhabi Tour's final stage

The first edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour will be very special. As well as being the official debut of Pro Cycling in the UAE capital (the race was declared 2.1 by the Union Cycliste Internationale – UCI), in the evening of the last day the Tour will have the honour of hosting the very first UCI Cycling Gala. An event conceived to celebrate the end of the UCI professional road cycling season and its stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.

UCI Cycling Gala is the final curtain of the UCI WorldTour season and a key moment for the UCI, cycling's world governing body. The hosts will be representatives from Abu Dhabi Sport's main authorities, at the presence of UCI executives, the world's best riders, representatives of teams, race organizers and national federations. The UCI Cycling Gala will be a real show complemented by a final awarding ceremony.

Commenting on Abu Dhabi hosting the UCI Cycling Gala, Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: "Abu Dhabi is widely known and proves every day to be a prominent international capital for world-class sporting events. Hosting the UCI Cycling Gala will be the best way to celebrate the first Abu Dhabi Tour winner. We are very proud and honoured by the UCI's choice.

"Moreover, this Gala is the cycling season's closing action: for us it's an opportunity as Abu Dhabi Tour to be considered the ultimate race of the season. For teams and riders it's a fixed point in the UCI calendar."

"Cycling in the UAE needs to host events such as the UCI Cycling Gala", said Osama Al Shafar, President of the UAE Cycling Federation. "It means we're on track to increase public approval, locally and internationally. This partnership is a confirmation of our strategies."

The UCI Cycling Gala will take place after the Yas Marina Stage, 110km at night under the floodlights of the F1 Circuit. The peloton will complete 20 laps (5.5km each) culminating in the last Abu Dhabi Tour sprint.

#RideToAbuDhabi

The Abu Dhabi Tour, organised by Abu Dhabi Sport council with the collaboration of RCS Sport, will take place from 8 to 11 October. It consists of four stages covering a total distance of 555km; three stages favour the sprinters, while the remaining stage (the 3rd), finishing uphill after a 750m climb with gradients touching 12%, will probably decide the General Classification.

ROUTE INFORMATION

Stage 1 – The Liwa Stage (175km): The entire stage takes place in the stunning Rub al Khali desert, part of Abu Dhabi's Western Region. Starting among the red sand dunes that surround the beautiful Qasr Al Sarab Resort, the undulating race route accumulates about 1,200m of vertical climbing. The riders will trace a ring around Liwa and the nearby oasis, passing through the town twice. The riders then head north along straight roads for 55km, with the slightest of downhill gradients, as far as the town of Madinat Zayed. After a first passage of the finish line, the peloton enters a final 15km loop, to be ridden just once. A mass sprint is expected, although the desert winds could influence the outcome.

Stage 2 – The Capital Stage (130km): A flat stage across the city, starting at the Yas Marina Circuit and heading towards the southern part of the city along wide and mostly straight roads. After the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and the Exhibition Hall, the peloton turns back on itself, returning to Yas Island, then following the Corniche as far as Marina Island. This is the setting for the final 7.6km circuit, to be completed five times: it features long straight stretches with wide sharp bends. Again, a mass sprint is expected.

Stage 3 – The Al Ain Stage (140km): The toughest stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour. Starting from Al Qattara Souq, the first 33km follow a series of broad, straight roads, then the peloton will trace a wide circle around the city, crossing the Green Mubazzarah oasis before starting the final climb. 11km long, the Jebel Hafeet ascent reaches an altitude of 1,000m on gradients that average 7.5% and touch 12% on the lower slopes. The climb, on wide, well surfaced roads and with long, sweeping bends, eases into a short descent with 1.5km to go, before resuming a shallow climb to the finish line. The final climb will, in all probability, decide the General Classification.

Stage 4 – The Yas Stage (110km): The entire stage takes place at night, under the floodlights of the Yas Marina Circuit. The peloton will complete 20 laps, interspersed with intermediate sprints. The circuit is wide and the surface is in impeccable condition.

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