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“We’re heading to Dubai with a very motivated team but without a designated absolute leader. Kiserlovski, Valgren and Zaugg all have a chance at aiming for the GC, but we’ll keep their roles free and evaluate after the fir...

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DUBAI TOUR

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EVGENI PETROV

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JURAJ SAGAN

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MANUEL BOARO

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MATTEO TOSATTO

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MICHAEL KOLAR

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MICHAEL VALGREN

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OLIVER ZAUGG

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ROBERT KISERLOVSKI

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28.01.2015 @ 18:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Dubai Tour is coming up and Tinkoff-Saxo has the lineup ready. The fast-paced stage race taking place in and around the largest city of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, is comprised of four stages, which mainly suit the sprinters. However, stage 3 to Hatta Dam featuring a very steep finish could very well mean that the general classification will go to a lighter rider.
 
Tinkoff-Saxo sends a versatile squad to Dubai in search of early season success. Robert Kiserlovski, Michael Valgren, Matteo Tosatto, Evgeny Petrov and Juraj Sagan will be joined by Michael Kolar, Manuele Boaro and Oliver Zaugg coming straight off the back of Tour Down Under. Tristan Hoffman, Tinkoff-Saxo's leading sports director at the race, comments on the race and team ambitions:
 
“We’re heading to Dubai with a very motivated team but without a designated absolute leader. Kiserlovski, Valgren and Zaugg all have a chance at aiming for the GC, but we’ll keep their roles free and evaluate after the first two stages. Zaugg has already raced in Australia, which means that he’s at race speed, while Valgren and Kiserlovski have both prepared meticulously at our training camps in Gran Canaria and Sicily”.

 

Dubai Tour presents the riders with a majority of flat race profiles, making stages 1, 2 and 4 an ideal battleground for the sprinters. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Michael Kolar is intended to represent Tinkoff-Saxo in the final bunch sprints, but Tristan Hoffman underlines that the fast Slovak still needs time to recover from the illness that affected him at Tour Down Under.
 
“Kolar is our sprinter on the flat stages, but he’s still in a recovery mode after his illness in Australia. I don’t want to push him too hard and we’ll have to adapt according to how he’s recovering in the days leading up to the race. But if he’s ready we will support him in the final sprints”, comments Tristan Hoffman.

 

Number of stages: 4
Total length: 663 kilometers
Kind: Stage race – primarily flat
First edition: 2014
Last year’s winner: Taylor Phinney
Best GC result of Tinkoff-Saxo: 12th – Rory Sutherland (2014)
 
Stage 1: February 4th – 145km
Tristan Hofmann: “The opening stage is completely flat. It starts and ends in Dubai and covers four laps on an 8.2km circuit in the final part of the stage. I expect a bunch sprint decision but as always, when we are near the coast, we have to be alert if there’s any crosswind, which could split the peloton. If Kolar is well and recovered, he’ll be our go-to-guy in the stage finish”
 
Stage 2: February 5th – 185km
Tristan Hoffman: “Organizers have made the stages a bit longer this year. Stage 2 is still a day for the sprinters, but we finish on the iconic Palm island of Dubai, which means that we’ll essentially be riding in the ocean – again the wind could become an important factor” 

Stage 3: February 6th – 205km
Tristan Hoffman: “Stage 3 has a lot of rolling roads and undulating sections. It’s not a mountain stage, but the finale to Hatta Dam will very likely decide the GC. The last 200 meters will see the riders climb a steep 17 per cent gradient. I don’t think the time gaps will be huge but it’s probably steep enough to exclude the sprinters and decide the overall winner”
 
Stage 4: February 7th – 128km
Tristan Hoffman: “The final stage and another day for the sprinters. It’s mainly an urban course taking the riders in and around the old city before finishing beneath the Burj Khalifa skyscraper”

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