Dubai Tour is the professional cycling race which began in 2014 as part of the UCI Asia Tour. Organised by the Dubai Sports Council, the event is now on its fifth edition this 2018, it is ready to be even more spectacular and full of champions. five stages, the best teams and the best riders will offer the World an amazing competition and a magnificent showcase of Dubai.
There are 16 teams that are invited to compete at the fifth edition of the Dubai Tour – taking place from 6 to 10 February 2018 .
Nine UCI WorldTour Teams, five UCI Professional Continental Teams, one UCI Continental Team and the UAE National Team will be at the start of the five-stage professional cycling race organised by the Dubai Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport. Each team will consist of seven riders.
UCI WORLD TOUR TEAMS
ASTANA PRO TEAM – KAZ
Astana’s palmares includes an Olympic gold medal (Alexander Vinokourov, now General Manager, won the Men’s Road Race, London 2012), eight Grand Tour victories (three Giri d’Italia with Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador, three Vueltas a España with Fabio Aru, Vinokurov and Alberto Contador, two Tours de France with Contador and Nibali), 41 Grand Tour stage wins, and 185 others victories. The man to watch in Dubai should be Colombian all-rounder Miguel Ángel López.
BAHRAIN-MERIDA – BRN
In its inaugural season Bahrain-Merida got 12 wins (including Il Lombardia, the Italian Monument race) and two prestigious podiums with Vincenzo Nibali, third at the Giro d’Italia (behind Tom Dumoulin and Nairo Quintana) and second at the Vuelta a España (behind Chris Froome). For Dubai the roster could include Sonny Colbrelli, who would be in contention for all of the stages.
BMC RACING TEAM – USA
Last year BMC Racing Team recorded 48 race wins, the most important were the Paris-Roubaix and the Gent Wevelgem won by Greg Van Avermaet, the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Romandie won by Richie Porte and the Vuelta a España’s Team Time Trial.
QUICK-STEP FLOORS – BEL
Since 2003, the team has recorded more than 600 victories and last year’s achievements includes five stages at the Tour de France, five at the Giro d’Italia, six at the Vuelta a España, the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Amstel Gold Race with Philippe Gilbert, and Paris-Tours with Matteo Trentin. The Dutchman Niki Terpstra and Italian Elia Viviani, who has won two previous stages in Dubai (in 2015 and 2016), will both be at the start on 6 February.
TEAM DIMENSION DATA – RSA
Founded in 2007, Dimension Data became the first ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour licence, in 2016. The team was originally known as MTN–Qhubeka. The 2018 roster is built around its main sprinter Mark Cavendish. The Manxman won the 2015 Dubai Tour and he will definitely be focused on achieving a Dubai Tour double.
TEAM KATUSHA ALPECIN – SUI
Team Katusha Alpecin’s palmares boasts 22 Grand Tour stage wins. Among last year’s 17 victories, the major achievement was the Tour de Suisse General Classification with Simon Špilak. For 2018, Katusha Alpecin hired one of the best sprinters, Marcel Kittel, back-to-back winner here in Dubai and with a record eight stage wins in three editions. The German will be the favourite to win the Circle of Stars and the Point classification too.
TEAM LOTTO NL-JUMBO – NED
Last year Team Lotto NL-Jumbo recorded 26 wins. The most prestigious of those were the final stage of the Giro d’Italia with Jos Van Emden and two Tour de France stages with Primoz Roglic (Stage 17) and Dylan Groenewegen on the Champs-Élysées (Stage 21). For the Dubai Tour the probable roster will include Dylan Groenewegen. Last year the Dutch sprinter featured on the podium every day and finished third in the General Classification behind Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.
TREK-SEGAFREDO – USA
The team’s 2017 victories included one Tour de France stage with Bauke Mollema and one at the Vuelta a España with Alberto Contador. John Degenkolb and Giacomo Nizzolo could be the Trek-Segafredo riders to watch in the Dubai Tour. The German has always done well in Dubai: he won the Hatta stage in 2015 and the sprint in Fujairah last year (Stage 2). Without the cancellation of Stage 4, he would certainly have competed with Marcel Kittel for the General classification.
UAE TEAM EMIRATES – UAE
Known for 20 years as Lampre, last season the team was rebranded as UAE Emirates. Managed by the former Italian champion Giuseppe Saronni, in 2017 the team recorded 19 victories, including one stage at the Giro d’Italia (Jan Polanc) and one at the Vuelta a España (Matej Mohoric). For Dubai look out for the Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff, in his first season in the UAE Team Emirates jersey, and the Italian puncheur Diego Ulissi.
UCI PROFESSIONAL CONTINENTAL TEAMS
AQUA BLUE SPORT – IRL
Ireland’s first UCI Professional Continental Cycling Team, set up by businessman Rick Delaney, made its debut in the 2017 season and won four races, including a Vuelta a España stage with the Austrian Stefan Denifl. For Dubai look out for the English Adam Blythe and the American Larry Warbasse.
COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS – FRA
Founded in France in 1996, last year this UCI Professional Continental team recorded 13 wins. Seven of those were thanks to the 27-year-old sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, who will be included in the 2018 Dubai Tour roster.
RALLY CYCLING – USA
Founded in the US in 2008, Rally Cycling recorded 19 victories last year; most of them on the American or Canadian race circuits. 2018 sees Rally Cycling make its debut in Dubai.
TEAM NOVO NORDISK – USA
This global sports team made up entirely from athletes with diabetes comprises more than 100 cyclists, triathletes and runners from 20 countries, and is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, based in the US. Founded in 2005 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, Team Novo Nordisk’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. The cycling team has amassed more than 30 victories since 2008.
WILIER TRIESTINA – SELLE ITALIA – ITA
Founded in 2008, the team managed by Angelo Citracca has an interesting palmares, including four stage wins at the Giro d’Italia. Wilier Triestina – Selle Italia recorded 18 wins last year, 14 of them with the Italian sprinter Jakub Mareczko.
UCI CONTINENTAL TEAM
MITCHELTON-BIKEEXCHANGE – CHN
This Chinese-licensed team was set up last year as a Mitchelton-Scott development team and recorded eight wins during the 2017 season.