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Mark Cavendish renews his commitment as the Abu Dhabi Tour’s Official Ambassador

needing to undergo surgery on his left shoulder to repair damage
sustained in a racing crash two weeks ago, the Manxman will still
attend the debut pro cycling race in the UAE capital


Dhabi, 22 September 2015
a week of unveiling the four Abu Dhabi Tour jerseys, Mark Cavendish
was forced to end early his racing season. On 8 October the Etixx –
Quick-Step rider will not be lining up at the start in the ADNOC
stage, the beginning of the Abu Dhabi Tour, but he will still be
present as the Official Ambassador.

“It has been a very
difficult decision,” said Cavendish about choosing to have surgery.
“However, 10 days after the crash, I’m still in pain and I can’t
lift or pull much weight. I’m so disappointed to end the season
like this; the UCI World Championships and the Abu Dhabi Tour were
two important objectives for the end of my season. But there’s
nothing I can do now except take a period of rest, and then start
with intensive rehab.”

“We regret Mark Cavendish’s
absence from the race itself,” commented Mr. Aref Hamad Al Awani,
Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary, “but he still remains a
Guest of Honour of the first Abu Dhabi Tour. Depending on his
recovery, we will be glad to involve Mark in all the official
activities, including the UCI Cycling Gala awards ceremony.”

Abu Dhabi Tour, organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in
collaboration with 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.

the evening of the last day the Tour will have the honour of hosting
the very first UCI Cycling Gala awards ceremony. It’s a unique
event to celebrate the end of the UCI professional road cycling
season and its stakeholders in Abu Dhabi.



1 – The ADNOC Stage (175km):
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 accrues around 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 the first crossing of the finish line, the
peloton then enters a final 15km loop, to be ridden just once. A mass
sprint is expected, although the desert winds could influence the
2 – The Capital Stage (130km):
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 follows the Corniche until the Emirates Palace. There
the riders will face a U-turn, cycling again alongside the Corniche
until Yas Island, where the finish line is positioned next to the Yas
Mall. Again, a mass sprint is expected.
3 – The Al Ain Stage (140km):
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.
4 – The Yas Stage (110km):
entire stage takes place at night on the Yas Marina Circuit. 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. The circuit is wide and the surface is in impeccable