Dubai Tour 2018: Route and Jerseys unveiled
In less than two months the Dubai Tour will celebrate its fifth birthday with a new schedule in the international calendar - from 6 to 10 February. The formula will be the same as last year: five stages totaling 851km and six Emirates included in the route. The stages are as follows:
1 - NAKHEEL STAGE, Tuesday, 6th February: Skydive Dubai-Palm Jumeirah (167km)
2 - RAS AL KHAIMAH STAGE, Wednesday, 7th February: Skydive Dubai-Ras Al Khaimah (190km)
3 - FUJAIRAH STAGE, Thursday, 8th February: Skydive Dubai-Fujairah (190km)
4 - DUBAI MUNICIPALITY STAGE, Friday, 9th February: Skydive Dubai-Hatta Dam (172km)
5 - MERAAS STAGE, Saturday, 10th February: Skydive Dubai-City Walk (132km)
The race’s six-day program includes the traditional Top Riders press conference on the afternoon of Monday, February 5th, followed by the Opening Ceremony in the early evening at Skydive Dubai. Among the new features of the upcoming Dubai Tour, its start venue is the most significant. After four years at the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the headquarter, the official fan village and everything related to the start procedures will be hosted by Skydive Dubai, the well known skydiving location in the Mina Seyahi area between Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence.
Dubai Sports Council General Secretary, H.E. Saeed Hareb showing the full program and the new route to the City Walk audience, highlighted the results of five years of work: “In just four editions the Dubai Tour has grown in every respect. We added a race day, we visited the surrounding Emirates, we increased the stages’ length and we can see the results on our roll of honour: names like Taylor Phinney, Mark Cavendish and Marcel Kittel certify our results, at least in sporting terms. But that's not all: last year the Dubai Tour was broadcasted in 182 countries all over the world. That means a +17% increase compared to 2016 and +64% to 2015. Not to mention the media: every edition more and more media outlets are accredited on stage; that means few thousand of online and printed articles. I would like to thank all the sponsors for their support and rewards along with all the governmental authorities.”
1 - NAKHEEL STAGE (167km) - Tuesday, 6th February
On the first day the route will take the riders through some of the city’s most ambitious construction projects: Motor City (residential community area), the Global Village (the region's first cultural, entertainment, family and shopping destination) and the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Sport Complex, a modern-multi-purpose sports arena with a capacity of 15,000 spectators. Then there are the Al Qudra bike path, well known by the riders because is where the teams usually do their final preparations and close to Al Maktoum International Airport, the peloton will pass next to Dubai South, where the Dubai Expo will held in 2020. After the 4.38 sq km of world fair’s site, some Dubai landmarks such as the commercial port and business hub of Jebel Ali, Jumeirah Islands and finally, Palm Jumeirah – which will host the now well established sprint in front of the Atlantis “door.”
2 - RAS AL KHAIMAH STAGE (190km) - Wednesday, 7th February
The following day, the stage sees the peloton ride through four different Emirates: Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al-Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah. During the first part the peloton will ride through the Dubai Design District. Then, on a flat route near the coast we discover Ajman and the Umm al-Quwain territory, famous both as archaeological site and for the amazing islands that lie to the east of the mainland peninsula. After 190km we expect to see another sprint on the Al Quawasim Corniche Road.
3 - FUJAIRAH STAGE (190km) - Thursday, 8th February
This stage, from Dubai to Fujairah is similar to 2016’s opening stage, won by Marcel Kittel after a compelling sprint. In 2018, however, the peloton will not ride directly to Fujairah, passing first through the town of Kalba (Sharjah’s exclave), where there is an Intermediate sprint. Then, on a flat route that overlooks the Indian Ocean, we reach the finish on the Fujairah’s Corniche Road.
4 - DUBAI MUNICIPALITY STAGE (172km) - Friday, 9th February
It’s exactly the same stage that last year was cancelled due to bad weather; a route through the deserts of Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, to reach Hatta Dam. Before the dam there are two climbs up to a 11% gradient, then the finale to the dam itself with a short stretch of about 200 meters featuring an inclination from 12% to 17%. This iconic stage, normally celebrated for the beautiful landscape and usually won by a puncheur, is not usually crucial in deciding the general classification.
5 - MERAAS STAGE (132km) - Saturday, 10th February
The last day is a spectacular parade entirely in the city of Dubai. Along the way the peloton will celebrate Dubai’s best loved monuments and landmarks: the astonishing Meydan Racecourse, home of the world’s richest horse race (Dubai World Cup), then the family-oriented Mushrif Park, Al Mamzar, the historical Deira, the famous Port Rashid, and the iconic Union Flag. Just like last year the grand finale is set to take place in Al Mustaqbal Street at the City Walk district with the fascinating Dubai skyline as a backdrop.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Dubai Tour jerseys will be provided by one of the cycling industry’s leading brands, Castelli. The four different jerseys are made using a high-tech fabric supplied by SITIP that is both UV-protective and allows for a very rapid rate of heat dissipation. There are four colours, one for each classification, starting with the most prestigious, the blue for the leader of the general classification.
General Classification: worn daily, starting from stage 2, by the leader of the general classification. In the previous editions it has been won by six different riders: Marcel Kittel (5 times), Taylor Phinney (3), Mark Cavendish (2), Giacomo Nizzolo, Elia Viviani and John Degenkolb.
Sponsor: Commercial Bank of Dubai
Dr. Bernd van Linder, CBD Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are very pleased to once again play a part in the Dubai Tour, which has become one of the world’s most iconic and popular cycling events. The Dubai Tour beautifully aligns with the CBD’s corporate social responsibility objectives of promoting a healthy lifestyle. This event contributes significantly to elevating the UAE’s sports sector and embodies the vision of the government to develop and promote sports in the UAE. We have had a successful partnership with the Dubai Sports Council since 2014 and we are pleased to be part of the success of the 2018 Dubai Tour.”
Points Classification: worn daily, starting from stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints. Since 2014, the red jersey has been won by only five riders: Marcel Kittel (5 times), Mark Cavendish (3), Taylor Phinney (2), Giacomo Nizzolo and Elia Viviani.
Khalid Bel Jaflah, Divisional Vice President Commercial Operations, UAE and Oman said: “The Dubai Tour has become a premier cycling challenge that attracts global talent and Emirates is proud to have been a part of it from the very beginning. Emirates is committed to supporting Dubai as a world-class sporting destination that hosts globally recognized events like the Dubai Tour.”
Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from stage 2, by the best U25 young rider in the overall classification, the name to watch out for in the future. In previous years this jersey was won by Dylan Groenewegen (4 times), Taylor Phinney (3), Soufiane Haddi (3), Paolo Simion (2) and Mic Valgren Andersen.
Sponsor: RTA (Roads and Transport Authority)
Mr. Ibrahim Al Haddad, Head of RTA’s Sports Team, said: "Now entering its fifth edition, the Dubai Tour will once again host the best teams and riders that cycling has to offer. RTA remains a proud sponsor of the 2018 Dubai Tour for the fifth year in a row. We sponsor this international event as part of our ongoing support of one of the world’s landmark cycle races. The increasing importance of this event, locally and internationally, has enhanced the prestigious position of Dubai as a leading organizer of a variety of activities including sporting events. As a strategic partner of the Dubai Sports Council, we consider the Dubai Tour as a great opportunity to show the world the latest developments in our beautiful territory. RTA has always made every effort to support a number of diverse social, sports and community activities in the UAE generally and specifically in the emirate of Dubai, as part of its corporate social responsibility.”
UAE Flag Jersey
Intermediate Sprint Classification: worn daily, starting from stage 2, by the rider who gained more Intermediate Sprint Points than any other rider. 8 riders have been leader of this classification: Nicola Boem (4 times), Taylor Phinney (2), Marcin Bialoblocki (2), Alessandro Bazzana, Davide Frattini, Soufiane Haddi, Jakobus Willem Smit and Ben Swift.
Sponsor: DHA (Dubai Health Authority)
His Excellency Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, said: “DHA is proud to support Dubai Tour which has seen a year-on-year growth in its scale and popularity. At the DHA, we are keen to work with governmental and private partners to educate the community on the benefits of a healthy eating and regular physical activity and to encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyles. Events such as the Dubai Tour reinforce the importance of fitness and sports in the community and encourage the younger generation to take on sports. We are proud to support the Dubai Tour and are pleased to see its growth.”
OFFICIAL SPONSORS OF THE 2018 DUBAI TOUR
Alongside to the “Top Sponsors” of the four jerseys (Commercial Bank of Dubai, Emirates, RTA-Roads and Transport Authority, DHA-Dubai Health Authority) these the other brands involved in the 2018 Dubai Tour:
- The “Stage Sponsors” are Nakheel, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Authority, Dubai Municipality, Meraas while the “Host Broadcaster” will be Dubai Sports Channel
The “Official Partners” are Audi Al Nabooda, Castelli, Westin Mina Seyahi Hotel & Resort and Oakley, while the “Official Suppliers” are Tag Heuer, Novo Nordisk, Sport360. “Official Supporters” for the 2018 edition are Cycle Hub and Wolfis Bike Shop.