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"For Mark, he will have his first chance to rely on both Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw in his leadout train. Cav and Renshaw have a lot of history and, combined with a veteran like Peta, we're hoping to have a fair chance fo...

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ALESSANDRO PETACCHI

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DECEUNINCK - QUICK-STEP

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DUBAI TOUR

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JULIEN VERMOTE

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MARK CAVENDISH

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MARK RENSHAW

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MARTIN VELITS

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NIKOLAS MAES

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TONY MARTIN

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04.02.2014 @ 10:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Omega Pharma-Quick Step will be looking to dominate the inaugural Dubai Tour which kicks off tomorrow and has lined up a roster that can potentially win all four stages. Tony Martin will target the overall win and the opening time trial while Mark Cavendish will be hoping to win a few sprints in the three road stages.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step have selected a very strong roster for the inaugural Dubai Tour which kicks off tomorrow with a star-studded line-up. With Tony Martin and Mark Cavendish both travelling to the Middle East, the team have covered all their bases in the four-day race.

 

"We are quite excited to go there for the first time," Sport Director Brian Holm said. "A few of our riders like Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin have already been there — they kind of know the city and the country and are very motivated to go there."

 

The race which will kick off a block of racing in the Middle East that also includes the Tours of Qatar and Oman, will feature an opening 10km time trial in Dubai and three road stages. Two of those are held in the city and are destined to end in bunch sprints while the third stage brings the riders into the hills in the desert. The climbing is not too hard though and the race could very well produce three sprint finishes.

 

This makes it a good opportunity for Cavendish who will be eager to take his first win of the season. For 2014, his lead-out train has been reinforced and it will be his first chance to ride with both Mark Renshaw who is back at his side after two years of trying his hand at Rabobank/Blanco/Belkin, and Alessandro Petacchi.

 

"For Mark, he will have his first chance to rely on both Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Renshaw in his leadout train," Holm said. "Cav and Renshaw have a lot of history and, combined with a veteran like Peta, we're hoping to have a fair chance for success in a race with so many sprint opportunities."

 

With the race likely to be decided by the opening time trial and bonus seconds, Martin has a good chance of taking the overall win. Holm is hopeful that the world champion will come out with all guns blazing in his first race of the year.

 

"As for Tony, he had a special experience last year when he actually competed against a horse in an exhibition, which was a really nice introduction of cycling to Dubai," he said. "Now he can come back and also show Dubai how strong he is against other riders.

 

"This will be his first chance to time trial since wrapping up an incredible 2013, which included his third straight UCI World ITT Championship. I am sure he is really focused and wants to take that momentum into his debut in Dubai, even if the first stage is a prologue. He is ready and it will be close. Overall the team is happy to go there, as we can be competitive in every situation."

 

The team will be completed by climber Wout Poels who will be working for the good of his teammates in his first race with his new squad, classics specialist and lead-out rider Nikolas Maes, and hard-working domestiques Martin Velits and Julien Vermote.

 

You can read our preview of the race here. Starting at 10.45 CET, you can follow all four stages on CyclingQuotes.com/live.

 

Omega Pharma-Quick Step for the Dubai Tour:

Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin, Mark Renshaw, Alessandro Petacchi, Nikolas Maes, Wout Poels, Martin Velits and Julien Vermote

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