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2016 Abu Dhabi Tour to build on 2015’s inaugural worldwide success‏

2016 ABU DHABI TOUR TO BUILD ON 2015's INAUGURAL WORLDWIDE SUCCESS
British superstar Mark Cavendish confirmed as Official Race Ambassador
2015 impact figures presented in a workshop attended by Mark Cavendish
and UCI president Brian Cookson.
PHOTO CREDIT: ANSA - LUCA LOMBARDI - From left: Lorenzo Giorgetti (Rcs Sports and Events DMCC Ceo), His Excellency Aref Al Awani (General Secretary - ADSC), Brian Cookson (President of the Union Cycliste International - UCI), Mark Cavendish (Abu Dhabi Tour Official Ambassador), Nick McElwee (Sales & Marketing Director Yas Marina Circuit - YMC)
Abu Dhabi, 26 April 2016 – Abu Dhabi Tour 2016 - the second edition of the UCI ranked event - will be raced over four stages between 20 and 23 October this year and will be looking to build on the huge worldwide exposure of last October’s inaugural Tour and the following 2015 UCI Cycling Gala. The emirate will also host the second UCI Cycling Gala, which celebrates the end of the season with cycling’s elite receiving awards for men, women and teams across various disciplines, on the evening of the Tour’s final stage (Sunday 23 October).

The Abu Dhabi Tour, an initiative of Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), last year recorded a total of 323 hours and 47 minutes of international broadcast time over its four days. “The ground-breaking introduction of on-bike camera footage, exclusively for the live television race coverage and audience, certainly contributed to the event’s international success,” said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, ADSC. “For the first time in a men’s professional road race, live on-board footage, made possible thanks to the collaboration with Velon, was broadcast in 169 countries. That’s the task we have to beat this year.”

Eurosport broadcast over 18 hours and 45 minutes of coverage of the Tour which collected over 20 million contacts and reached 11 million unique viewers while digital media covered the race widely, generating 2,883 articles in 60 countries. Driven also by the dedicated social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the official website (www.abudhabitour.com) recorded around 40,000 unique users per day during the event, exceeding all expectations.

Last year saw an impressive list of cycling aces take part. They included: UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan, previous Grand Tour winners Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Aru from Italy, Spanish champion Alejandro Valverde and Belgian puncheurs Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen. “It was a tremendous standard to set for an inaugural event,” added Al Awani. “The goal this year is to confirm and strengthen our position locally and internationally. I would like to thank the local supporting institutions, the Municipalities, Department of Transport and Abu Dhabi Police. A special mention also goes to all the sponsors, staff and our Abu Dhabi Tour Ambassador Mark Cavendish, who is confirmed for the 2016 edition, for their past contributions and those of the coming months”.
 The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has recently upgraded the Abu Dhabi Tour from 2.1 to 2.HC on the UCI Asia Tour. Its President Brian Cookson, speaking from Abu Dhabi, said: “This is a race of the most modern standards. Last October we admired the first on-board cameras and I guess it's only the first of a long series of innovations that could be tested here and elsewhere. This is why I'm glad we chose Abu Dhabi for the UCI Cycling Gala 2016: I'm sure it will be a success”.

Mark Cavendish, Official Abu Dhabi Tour Ambassador, said: “First of all, I’m very happy being appointed the race’s Official Ambassador again and, this time, I hope to be on the start line at the Abu Dhabi Tour and try to win at least a stage! Due to an injury, I missed the first edition but I had the chance to visit all the emirate’s main attractions. I’ve been twice to the amazing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, visited the city centre and Yas Island, which I now know quite well. As a spectator, I really enjoyed the fantastic Jabel Hafeet stage in Al Ain. I’m definitely curious about the new route”.

Lorenzo Giorgetti, RCS Sports and Events CEO, said: “The Abu Dhabi Tour project is very ambitious, as confirmed by the results we have seen today. It’s an extraordinary advertisement for the largest emirates of the UAE and its territory. Investing in an attractive sport event such as the Abu Dhabi Tour guarantees an excellent return in terms of global brand awareness and local public appreciation. We believe the Abu Dhabi Tour represents a great marketing platform for the most qualified companies in the region”.

The Tour guests currently in Abu Dhabi went cycling around the stunning Yas Marina Circuit alongside regular attendees of the weekly ‘Train Yas’ session which opens the F1™ track to local riders and runners. A photo gallery will follow.

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