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The fourth edition of the race will be attended by 10 WorldTour teams

Photo: ANSA - PERI / Dal Zennaro

DUBAI TOUR

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS
29.12.2016 @ 09:37 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The list of the 16 teams invited to the race the fourth edition of the Dubai Tour – scheduled from January 31st to February 4th 2017 – has been officially announced.

 

Ten UCI WorldTeams, four UCI Professional Continental Teams, one UCI Continental Team and a UAE National Selection team will be at the start of the five-stage professional cycling race organised by the Dubai Sports Council in collaboration with RCS Sport. Each team at the start of the Dubai Tour will consist of eight riders.

 

TEAMS

UCI WorldTeams

ASTANA PRO TEAM - KAZ: Astana is more than just a cycling team: it’s part of the Astana President’s Professional Sports Club that was created by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A. Nazarbayev in 2012, focused on several different sports including football, hockey, basketball, motorsports, rally-raid and boxing. Astana have shown great form racing in the Emirates, winning the 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour with the Estonian Tanel Kangert.
Astana’s palmares includes an Olympic gold medal (Alexander Vinokurov, Men’s Road Race, London 2012), eight Grand Tour victories (three Giro d’Italia with Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador, three Vuelta a España with Fabio Aru, Vinokurov and Alberto Contador, two Tour de France with Contador and Nibali), 37 Grand Tour stage wins, and 164 others victories.

BAHRAIN-MERIDA - BRN: Founded in 2016, Bahrain-Merida is the the first Middle Eastern team to achieve the WorldTour license – the highest level of professional cycling. The team is supported by a consortium of businesses and partners from the small island country of Bahrain and His Highness Sheikh Nasser. Under the General Manager Brent Copeland, the 2017 roster is composed of 28 riders from 12 different countries, including the Italians Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti, the Lithuanian Ramūnas Navardauskas, the Spaniard Ion Izagirre, and the Australian Heinrich Haussler. For Dubai the roster could include Sonny Colbrelli, who may be in contention for any and all of the stages.

 

TEAM DIMENSION DATA - RSA: Founded in 2007, Dimension Data became the first ever African cycling team to gain a WorldTour license, in 2016. In the team’s palmares you can find a Milan-Sanremo victory (Gerald Ciolek in 2013), six Tour de France stages, one Vuelta stage victory, two Tour of Britain overall classification wins (Edvald Boasson Hagen, 2015; Steve Cummings, 2016), and 36 National Championships.

The team was originally known as MTN–Qhubeka: Qhubeka is an Nguni word meaning to carry on, progress, or move forward. Qhubeka is part of World Bicycle Relief, a global non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation through bicycles – since 2005, World Bicycle Relief has delivered over 275,000 bicycles to developing countries.

The 2017 roster has as its main character the Manxman Mark “Cav” Cavendish. The sprinter won the 2015 Dubai Tour and undoubtedly his goal is a double.

 

MOVISTAR TEAM - ESP: The world’s best team for four consecutive years, according to the UCI WorldTour ranking, Movistar is one of the most established squads. It was founded in 1980 as Reynolds (till 1989), then became very famous as Banesto thanks to the multiple victories of Miguel Indurain (1990-2004), then Caisse d’Epargne (2005, with Illes Baleares to 2010), becoming Movistar from 2011. In total, 852 various victories, 14 of them Grand Tours, with seven in the Tour de France, three in the Giro d’Italia, and four in the Vuelta a España. Next season look out for the Colombians Nairo Quintana and Carlos Betancourt and the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde.

QUICK - STEP FLOORS - BEL: This WorldTour team, established in 2003, is based in Wevelgem, Belgium, a city that’s symbolic to Flemish cycling. Patrick Lefevere, one of the most victorious managers in the history of cycling, is in charge of Sports Management. Since its inception the team has recorded more than 500 victories, including 15 Monument Classics, four Road World Championships, five ITT World Championships, two TTT World Championships, two World Cups and an Olympic title. Current top riders for the team are sprinter Marcel Kittel (winner of eight stages at the Tour de France and the last Dubai Tour), Tom Boonen (four-time Paris-Roubaix winner), three-time UCI World TT Champion Tony Martin, Niki Terpstra (winner of Paris-Roubaix 2014), Dan Martin (winner of Liege-Bastogne-Liege 2013 and Giro di Lombardia 2014) and the Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels. 

TEAM LOTTO NL - JUMBO - NED: This cycling team was founded for the 1984 season under the name Kwantum, anchored by Jan Raas, and from 2015 the head sponsor has been Lotto-Jumbo. For the Dubai Tour the probable roster will include Juan Antonio Lobato, who won the third stage of the 2016 Dubai Tour on the Hatta dam and was third in the overall classification in both 2015 and 2016.

TEAM SKY - GBR: The team was founded in 2009 with the aim to win the Tour de France within five years… and the first Grand Tour victory came in 2012 at the Grand Boucle with Bradley Wiggins, soon followed by three more from Chris Froome (2013, 2015, 2016), along with more than 130 stage race wins and 15 one day competitions. The Omnium Olympic champion Elia Viviani won two stages in Dubai (one each in 2015 and 2016) and will probably be under the spotlights in the upcoming 2017 edition.

UAE ABU DHABI – UAE: Known for 20 years as Lampre, the team will be called UAE Abu Dhabi for the 2017 season. Managed by the former Italian champion Giuseppe Saronni, has recorded 25 Grand Tour stage wins, one Giro d’Italia GC victory (2011), one Tour of Flanders (Alessandro Ballan, 2007) and two Tours of Lombardy (Damiano Cunego, 2007-2008). For Dubai look out for the sprinter Sacha Modolo and the puncheur Diego Ulissi. Modolo could be included in the entry list.

TREK SEGAFREDO - USA: Founded in 2011 as Leopard Trek, this United States licensed team’s big achievements are the Vuelta a España victory by Chris Horner in 2013, 25 national titles in five years, two Tours of Flanders and a Paris-Roubaix win, thanks to Fabian Cancellara. John Degenkolb could be the Trek-Segafredo rider to watch in the next Dubai Tour.    

BMC RACING TEAM - USA: This UCI WorldTour team headquartered in Santa Rosa, California was formed in 2006. A founding member of Velon, BMC Racing Team has recorded more than 30 wins per season since 2013 thanks to one day classic specialists and Grand Tour contenders. Two times TTT World Champions (2014 and 2015), winner of the 2011 Tour de France with Cadel Evans and most recently winner of the 2016 Rio Olympic Road Race with Greg Van Avermaet.

UCI Professional Continental Teams

BARDIANI CSF - ITA: Founded in 1982 by Bruno Reverberi, Bardiani-CSF has raced the Giro d’Italia 34 times and includes 25 stage wins in its palmares.

TEAM NOVO NORDISK - USA: This global sports team made up entirely from athletes with diabetes comprises more than 100 cyclists, triathletes and runners, from 20 countries, and is spearheaded by the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, based in the USA. Founded in 2005 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, Team Novo Nordisk’s mission is to inspire, educate and empower people affected by diabetes. The cycling team has amassed more than 30 victories since 2008.

WILIER TRIESTINA - ITA: Founded in 2008, the team managed by Angelo Citracca has a interesting palmares, including four stage wins at the Giro d’Italia and the overall classifications of the Tour of Turkey (Visconti, 2010) and the Tour de Langkawi (José Rujano, 2010), along with four National titles.

AQUA BLUE SPORT - IRL: Ireland’s first UCI Professional Continental Cycling Team, set-up by businessman Rick Delaney, is making its debut in the 2017 season.

ONE PROCYCLING - GBR: Launched in 2014 by retired professional cricketer Matt Prior and businessman Simon Chappell, ONE Pro Cycling can boast two National Time Trial titles (Marcin Bialoblocki, Poland, 2015 and Hayden McCormick, New Zealand, 2016) plus 17 other various victories.

National Selection
UAE National Selection - UAE: A special team of riders representing the Emirates will be a big draw for the local supporters and ensure that the highest-caliber Middle-Eastern racers rub shoulders with the very best cyclists in the world at the Dubai Tour.

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