ABU DHABI TOUR: CYCLING RACE ROUTE 20/23 October 2016 #RideToAbuDhabi

Three sprint stages and an uphill finish confirmed for the October race under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman, Abu Dhabi Executive Council

The red, green, white and black jerseys to be sponsored by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Nation Towers, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Etihad Airways
From left: Talal Mustafa Al Hashemi, Director of Technical Affairs Sports, Abu Dhabi Sports Council;  Muaammar Ibraheem Al Hadidi, Chief Property Officer, International Capital Trading; H.E. Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary, Abu Dhabi Sports Council; Yousif Mirza, Nasr Dubai; Abdulraheem Albateeh, Head of Government & International Relations, Abu Dhabi Media; Patrick Pierce, Vice-President, Sponsorship, Etihad Airways - Photo Credits: Luca Lombardi

Abu Dhabi, 20 September 2016 – This year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, the four-stage professional cycling race organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) in collaboration with RCS Sport, will cover 555km over its four-day run from 20 to 23 October.

The race which brings the international season to a close just a few days after the 16 October World Championships and 18 October UCI Cycling Gala, will start with two flat stages dedicated to sprinters, followed by a mountain stage, where climbers and puncheurs will fight for general classification. The grand finale is once again confirmed for the iconic Formula 1 Yas Marina Circuit.

And the official new competitor jerseys, that will debut in exactly one month’s time on the podium in Madinat Zayed, chosen for the start and finish of the first stage, have now been unveiled. The jerseys reproduce the colours of the UAE flag and are sponsored by ADSC for the leader's red jersey and Etihad Airways for the black intermediate sprints. New jersey sponsors Nation Towers take green for the points classification while Abu Dhabi Sports Channel gets behind the white for the best young rider.

The Nation Towers race headquarters will host the official Fan Zone from Friday 14 October to Monday 24 October, the preliminary preparations, official press conferences and, in conjunction with the adjoining The St. Regis Abu Dhabi, will welcome and host athletes, media and officials. The St Regis will also host the UCI Cycling Gala, where, on the evening of 18 October, the Tour’s teams and riders will be honoured.

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, ADSC’s General Secretary, said: 
“First of all, we would like to acknowledge the generous patronage and support of H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council to the second edition of Abu Dhabi Tour. We are also grateful for the close attention paid by H.H. Sheikh Nahyan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, to the world-class sport events taking place in Abu Dhabi.”

“We have aimed for the highest standards of accommodation, logistics and sporting competition which is now reflected in the calibre of the teams invited and the riders expected at the start.

"The success of the Abu Dhabi Tour has been recognised by the fact that this annual sporting event will join the UCI WorldTour calendar in February 2017. In addition to the race and the UCI Cycling Gala, we are cultivating several side projects for the development of cycling in schools and among the young. The short-term goal is still to become a world class event but the longer-term focus is to spread the cycling culture, to inspire people into healthy and active lifestyles.

“We would like to thank all those who contribute to the event, including the UAE Cycling Federation, Abu Dhabi Police, the Department of Transport, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and the towns which will host the stages.”bu Dhabi Tour 2016 boasts a fast-balanced route alternating between the desert and the sea, and from the mountains to the city. Under the spotlight in the first and third stages are the famous oases of Liwa and Al Ain. The UAE capital is the star of the second stage and takes in the city’s most famous landmarks, from the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, across Saadiyat Island, the Corniche, and Khalifa City. The challenging roadway up Al Ain’s Jabel Hafeet Mountain, the second highest in the UAE, will be decisive for stage three. The Grand Finale at the famous F1 Yas Marina Circuit, where cyclists ride twice a week on the free ‘TrainYas’ programme, will see the peloton complete 26 laps of 5.5km each, before the final sprint to the podium.

The first stage runs entirely into the desert, with the first and last parts of about 45km on straight, wide roads. Once in Liwa, first Intermediate Sprint riders will find a short circuit characterised by constant undulations over dunes, adding up to a significant total elevation. After a second Intermediate Sprint passage in Liwa, the second part of the stage takes the riders to Madinat Zayed, where, after one pass of the finish line, a final 14.5km circuit will conclude the stage.

Last km
A city path with only three proper bends, one to the right and two to the left (the final bend being to the left). The last kms are on wide, straight boulevards, punctuated by wide-curved roundabouts. The final km is straight on asphalt.

The second stage is mostly in the city. After the start, the peloton will travel on wide roads towards the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and then towards Yas Island with a passage through Khalifa City, where there are several roundabouts and speed humps. After the Yas Island first Intermediate Sprint, the race goes to the Sheikh Zayed bin Highway towards Abu Dhabi Corniche. It follows a route within Reem Island – including the second Intermediate Sprint – then returns to the Corniche finish line. The entire route is on wide boulevards with road furniture constantly dividing the lanes.

Last km
The final 5km are on increasingly large roads with large semi-curves leading to the straight finish on asphalt.

The third stage comprises both urban surroundings and mountains. The first part, inside Al Ain city, is all on wide roads with roundabouts and speed humps and is followed by a second part in the desert along wide and predominantly straight roads. At 15km to go, the route starts to rise slightly towards the final ascent, culminating in an uphill finish at an altitude of 1025m, following an 11km climb with slopes with an 11% gradient.

Last km
The final climb is on wide-ranging bends on a three-lane roadway. The gradient is mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% at 3km to go. There are short descents in the last kilometres before the final ramp with a straight finish on asphalt.

The final stage is entirely on Yas Island. There are 26 laps on the F1 Yas Marina circuit, each of 5.5km with three Intermediate Sprints as we count down to the finale. The first Intermediate Sprint is at lap 11, with 15 laps to go; the second at 10 laps to go and the last Intermediate Sprints with just five laps to go.
Last year during the Yas Island Stage, for the first time ever in a men's professional road race, live on-board bike camera footage was made available and used for live television race coverage.

Last km
On the perfect tarmac of a 5.5km Formula 1 circuit with wide roads and large, sweeping bends. The final 250 metres are on straight, flat asphalt.