News: World Stars in Dubai for Battle in the Desert


Britain’s Mark Cavendish leads a lavishly star studded line up for the four stage Tour of Dubai starting Wednesday

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The race sees 16 teams and 128 participants in a race where there is a 10km prologue, followed by four flat stages — the longest being a 162.3km third stage. “We are quite excited to go there for the first time,” Omega Pharma Quickstep Sporting Director Brian Holm said. “A few of our riders like Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin have already been there — they kind of know the city and the country and are very motivated to go there. For Mark, he will have his first chance to rely on both Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw in his leadout train.”

“Cav and Renshaw have a lot of history and, combined with a veteran like Peta, we’re hoping to have a fair chance for success in a race with so many sprint opportunities. As for Tony, he had a special experience last year when he actually competed against a horse in an exhibition, which was a really nice introduction of cycling to Dubai”.

“Now he can come back and also show Dubai how strong he is against other riders. This will be his first chance to time trial since wrapping up an incredible 2013, which included his third straight UCI World ITT Championship. I am sure he is really focused and wants to take that momentum into his debut in Dubai, even if the first stage is a prologue. He is ready and it will be close. Overall the team is happy to go there, as we can be competitive in every situation.”

The Omega Pharma Quickstep team is Mark Cavendish, Nikolas Maes, Tony Martin, Alessandro Petacchi, Wout Poels, Mark Renshaw, Martin Velits and Julien Vermote.

The race will also see a lot of other major stars including some from Britain. Alex Dowsett rides along with Endura clad Movistar teammates Alejandro Valverde, Ion Izagirre, Juanjo Lobato, Enrique Sanz,Jesús Herrada and Jonathan Castroviejo, Briton Alex Dowsett and Italian Adriano Malori.

Another British rider, a stage winner in the Vuelta, Steven Cummings rides for BMC with the likes of Thor Hushovd and Taylor Phinney while Scotland’s Alex Coutts seems to have got himself a ride with RTS Santic. Joaquim Rodriguez will represent Katusha, Vincenzo Nibali rides for Astana, Peter Sagan Cannondale and Marcel Kittell Giant Shimano. It is a truly star studded field and you can add to that Fabian Cancellera.

The first stage, a time trial, will see many of the top testers from around the world clash and whilst the race is a warm up event for the big races to come, a win is a win and in that company, a highly prized one.

05.02.14 The Downtown stage World Trade Center – World Trade Center 9.9 km (ITT)
06.02.14 The Sport Stage Dubai – Palm Jumeirah – Atlantis 121.9 km
07.02.14 The Nature Stage Dubai – Hatta 162.3 km
08.02.14 The Old Dubai Stage Dubai – Burj Khalifa 123.0 km

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