Dubai Tour: 2015 edition of the cycling race revealed with Vincenzo Nibali as special guest of honour – 4th – 7th February. 2015@rcssport – @stedicia

Vincenzo Nibali

After the great success in 2014, the UAE’s Dubai Tour will return, being held from
the 4th – 7th February.
Upgraded UCI category, 4 in line stages with no time trial and a climbing finish.
Guest of Honour Vincenzo Nibali who will start his season with his team in 2015 at
the Dubai Tour.
Commercial Bank of Dubai is the new top sponsor of the race and of the general
classification leader’s blue jersey.
Dubai, 10th November 2014 – The 2015 edition of the Dubai Tour was presented
today in the amazing scenery of Dubai and in the exclusive location of Westin Mina
Seyahi Hotel.
The race, which is organised by the Dubai Sports Council in partnership with RCS
Sport, established itself on the international cycling scene in 2014 and has already
gone to another level, with cycling’s governing body, the UCI, promoting the Dubai
Tour, upgrading it from 2.1 to 2.HC, the second highest category.
This change highlights the quality of the race and allows a greater number of the
elite UCI WorldTeams to race at the event.
16 teams of 8 riders will start the Dubai Tour. The inaugural, 2014 edition general
classification was won by the American BMC rider Taylor Phinney, with three stages
ending in sprints, with Marcel Kittel holding off Mark Cavendish and Peter Sagan to
take all three.
This second edition of the race will be held from February 4th until February 7th,
with some changes to the course: no time trial stage will be held, a hill climb finish
has been added and the total distance raced increases by 60%, from 418km in
2014 to 663km in 2015.
The course
The Dubai Tour is a stage race divided as following:
• Stage 1 – 4th February 2015 – UNION FLAG STAGE – 145 km
• Stage 2 – 5th February 2015 – PALM STAGE – 185 km
• Stage 3 – 6th February 2015 – DESERT STAGE (Dubai Hatta Dam) – 205 km
• Stage 4 – 7th February 2015 – BURJ STAGE – 128 km
They will be three flat stages with potential bunch sprint finish and a hilly stage
with medium difficulty climbs and a final tough climb.
All stages start from the Dubai International Marine Club, finishing each time in a
symbolic location for Dubai.
The 2015 Dubai Tour will end in the same location as 2014, in front of Burj Khalifa.
Stage 1 – Starting from the Dubai International Marine Club, heading south to
reach Jabal Ali and crossing the area where Expo 2020 will be held. Riders will then
face a short and twisting course through Dubai Marina and on to Jumeirah Road,
where the race will enter the first of four loops of an 8.2km circuits, with riders
finishing by going around the buoy and under the Union Flag.
Stage 2 – The stage is divided in two parts. The first part runs outside the city,
partly in the desert, with the second taking place from Dubai Marina and ending at
Palm Jumeirah. Alongside the first part, riders will pass through the Academic City,
the Camel Track and the Al-Qudra Cycletrack. The second part goes through
Jumeirah Islands and on to the world famous Palm Jumeirah, with a very fast finale
similar to the one in 2014.
Stage 3 – Starting from the Dubai International Marine Club, racers will head
towards the desert and the Hatta enclave in the mountains on the border with
Oman. A few other Emirates are touched by the course (Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah
and Fujairah). After facing a series of short climbs, riders reach the finale in Hatta,
at the top of the dam (Hatta Dam) after a short tough climb at of approximately
200m and a maximum inclination of 17%. The stage will take place in the stunning
Hajar Mountains, an area defended throughout history by military towers, and
today a major tourist attraction with their famous orange mountains. At the end of
the stage, riders will have faced a total elevation of 1200m.
Stage 4 – The stage crosses the Old City, touching the Meydan hippodrome and
Mushrif Park before reaching al-Mamzar and crossing Deira and its harbour on the
creek. Riders then head onto Jumeirah Road and onto a very fast sprint in front of
the renowned Burj Khalifa.
CBD new top sponsor
Commercial Bank of Dubai have signed a deal to become the main sponsor of the
Dubai Tour and the blue jersey, which is worn by the race’s general classification
Vincenzo Nibali, guest of honour at the presentation and one of only two current
pro riders to have won all three grand tours – Vuelta a Espana (2010), Giro d’Italia
(2013) and Tour de France (2014) said:
“I’m very happy to be here at the presentation of this very beautiful race.
“I’m in Dubai for few days on holiday and I can say I really like the city, a lot of
tourist attractions, delicious food and amazing weather. I enjoyed myself riding my
bike on the desert cycle path too, which is really fantastic.
“I’m convinced that Dubai represents a great opportunity for cycling and vice versa.
Dubai Tour, which I raced last year too, will be my seasonal debut with my team in
2015. The course is very interesting and the third stage, with the final steep climb,
it’s something very nice, very hard to find in these surroundings.”
H.E. Saeed Hareb, Chairman of the Organising Committee of the Dubai Tour, said:
“A year ago, we met to reveal the details of a new sports event entitled ‘Dubai
Tour’ and today we are gathered, once again, to talk about this same event, which
has received international acclaim and attracted the strongest teams and biggest
names in the world of cycling. In just a few months this event has witnessed a
success that usually takes many years.
“The event’s goals consist of spreading the culture of cycling, encouraging
community members to practice this sport for its numerous benefits of health,
fitness and well-being, and showcasing the development of the UAE, and
particularly in Dubai, especially for tourism, construction and urban planning.
“The Tour offers us an opportunity to reveal to the world images of convergence
between our rich heritage and our flourishing present, images of harmony among
communities, of more than 200 countries, living and working in our nation, and
images of millions of visitors who come to the UAE throughout the whole year.”
Mr. Huraiz Bin Huraiz, Tournament Director of the Dubai Tour, said: “The next
edition of Dubai Tour is going to be even more spectacular then the first one, with
many of the best riders in the world competing on this unique landscape.”
“The stages will be longer, as per the teams’ request, to make them more
demanding for the riders at the beginning of the season.”
“In order to make the general classification battle more spectacular, we have
decided to remove the time trial stage and introduce instead a mountain stage, one
that is likely to decide the race on the penultimate day. Furthermore, the race will
be more technical.”
Mr. Lorenzo Giorgetti, CEO RCS Sports and Events JLT, said:
“It’s an honour for RCS Sport to be here together with Dubai Sport Council, the
local institutions, the United Arab Emirates Cycling Federation and the sponsors to
present you the second edition of Dubai Tour.
“This event has demonstrated from its first year its potential, becoming one of the
most important races in the international cycling calendar in terms of riders
attending and media coverage, both local and international.
“Today, with us, we have Vincenzo Nibali, one of the strongest stage races rider in
the world, and one of the very few riders to have won each of the three Grand
Tours, and next year he has committed to start his season at the Dubai Tour. This
will be his second year racing here, showing the relevance and the interest that the
Dubai Tour has in pro cycling.
“I would like to thank the UCI too, the organisation is supporting the growth of this
event with their decision to upgrade it to the 2.HC category.”