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Brajkovic will target the GC while Förster will lead the team in the sprints

Photo: Sirotti

ALESSANDRO BAZZANA

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DANIELE RATTO

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DUBAI TOUR

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JANEZ BRAJKOVIC

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MARCO CANOLA

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ROBERT FÖRSTER

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UNITEDHEALTHCARE PRO CYCLING

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03.02.2015 @ 12:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After kicking the season off at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina where the team earned multiple top-ten performances and while another squad challenges the Herald Sun Tour in Australia, the men of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team travel the United Arab Emirates to take part in the 2nd annual Dubai Tour. This will be the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train’s first appearance at the 4-stage race beginning on February 4th and concluding on February 7th.

 

All four stages of the 2014 Dubai Tour will begin at the Dubai International Marine Club, each with a different route and profile, totaling 660 kilometers of racing over the four days. The flat opening stage will likely conclude with a bunch sprint after the riders wind through the city of Dubai towards the Union House Flag. This short, circuit-type route will give spectators plenty of excitement as the riders finish with four laps of an 8.2-kilometer circuit. Stage 2 takes the riders out of the city of Dubai on a 185-km route into the desert, before winding back to finish at Jumeirah Palm (Atlantis). With more than 1200 meters of elevation gain over 205 kilometers through the Hajar Mountains; stage 3 will be the only mountain stage of the 2015 Dubai Tour, finishing on Hatta Dam. The final stage of Dubai Tour will give the sprinters one last chance to take a stage win and earn points in the sprint classification on a relatively short and flat 128-kilometert route, finishing at the iconic Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.

 

With three of the four stages classified as sprint stages, this carefully selected roster will give the UnitedHealthcare Blue Train an opportunity to perfect their lead out train early in the season, as well as refine their stage racing tactics and dynamics. Robert Förster brings a wealth of experience to the Dubai Tour squad with his many years of racing and multiple stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España. Förster will be joined by sprinters Kiel Reijnen and Alessandro Bazzana, 2013 Vuelta a España stage winner Daniele Ratto, climbers Marco Canola and Janez Brajkovic, with support from all-around riders Davide Frattini and Frederico Zurlo. With Stage 2 winding out of the city and into the desert, there is a strong potential for crosswinds, giving Kiel Reijnen, Alessandro Bazzana, and Daniele Ratto opportunities for a breakaway or a sprint finish. Reijnen is known for his ability to deliver a strong sprint after a challenging stage as seen with his win in the opening stage of the 2014 USA Pro Challenge, making him a solid threat on the later stages. New additions to the team for 2015, Marco Canola and Janez Brajkovic will support the team on the flat stages then look to excel as the road tilts uphill on stage 3, coming off of an outstanding first race with the squad at the mountainous 2015 Tour de San Luis. While the season is still early and many riders are still coming into form for the year, the men of the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team showed great condition and strong teamwork at the Tour de San Luis and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, proving that they are ready to take on the 2015 Dubai Tour.

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