An amazing start list for the 2019 UAE Tour, the only Middle Eastern race in the UCI WorldTour calendar.
All 18 UCI WorldTeams have accepted the invitation from the Organising Committee, with six-time Grand Tour winner including last year’s Giro d’Italia, Chris Froome; 2017 Giro d’Italia winner and former UCI World Time Trial Champion, the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin; last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour winner and UCI Road World Champion, the Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, the Italian all rounder Vincenzo Nibali, who boasts four Grand Tour titles so far; 2018’s most successful rider and Dubai Tour winner, the Italian sprinter Elia Viviani; the UCI Time Trial World Champion, Australian Rohan Dennis; and the double Dubai Tour overall champion and winner of stages at all three Grand Tours, the German sprinter Marcel Kittel. Alongside them, other big name riders are on the entry list.
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Alejandro Valverde (ESP – Movistar Team)
Valverde, born Las Lumbreras, Spain, 20 April 1980, is one of the most successful riders in the peloton with over 100 pro wins since his debut in 2002 with the Kelme – Costa Blanca team. His palmares includes four Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2006, 2008, 2015, 2017) victories, five at La Flèche Wallonne (2006, 2014-2017), one GC at the Vuelta a España. Last year El Bala (‘The Bullet’) won the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck-Tirol and the last edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Chris Froome (GBR – Team Sky)
Born in Nairobi, Kenya, 20 May 1985, Chris Froome is the first rider after Bernard Hinault to win the Tour, La Vuelta and the Giro in a row (across 2017 and 2018). His palmares also includes six Tours de France, one Vuelta a España, and last year’s Giro d’Italia. Froome is one of only six cyclists who have won all three Grand Tours, and is starting a UAE race for the first time.
Vincenzo Nibali (ITA – Bahrain – Merida)
Nibali, born in Messina, Italy, 14 November 1984, is one of the greatest ever all rounders, being one of only six cyclists to have won all three Grand Tours: the Vuelta a España in 2010, the Giro d’Italia in both 2013 and 2016 and the Tour de France in 2014. Lo Squalo – the Shark’s – other achievements include two editions of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, the 2016 Tour of Oman, and two editions of the Il Lombardia. Last year saw a prestigious victory for Nibali, the Milano-Sanremo, a monument race, with an amazing solo attack.
Tom Dumoulin (NED – Team Sunweb)
Born in Maastricht, Netherlands, 11 November 1990, Dumoulin found notoriety in his early career as a time trial specialist before emerging as a great all-rounder. In 2017 he became the first Dutch cyclist ever to win the Giro d’Italia and, later that season, both the World Individual Time Trial and the World Team Time Trial Championships. His palmares features stage wins in all three Grand Tours (three at the Giro d’Italia, two each at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España), and a silver medal at the Rio Olympic Games.
Rohan Dennis (AUS – Bahrain–Merida)
Born in Adelaide, Australia, 28 May 1990, last year Dennis won the Time Trial stage at the Abu Dhabi Tour, one stage at the Giro d’Italia and two at the Vuelta a España, before beating Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) at the Worlds to confirm himself as the best time trialist in the peloton. At the end of the season he moved from BMC to Bahrain–Merida
Michał Kwiatkowski (POL – Team Sky)
Born in Chełmża, Poland, 2 June 1990, Kwiatkowski is an all rounder, with good sprinting, time-trialling and climbing abilities. His achievements include the 2014 road World Championship, the 2017 Milano-Sanremo, two editions of the Strade Bianche, the 2015 Amstel Gold Race, and the General Classification at the 2018 Tirreno-Adriatico.
Elia Viviani (ITA – Quick-Step Floors)
Viviani, born Isola della Scala, Italy, 7 February 1989, was 2018’s most successful rider with 18 victories. He also has an admirable record on the track, with the the gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games in the Omnium in 2016. Last year’s wins include the GC at the Dubai Tour, one stage at the Abu Dhabi Tour, four at the Giro d’Italia, three at the Vuelta a España and the Italian National Championship.
Fernando Gaviria (COL – UAE Team Emirates)
Born in La Ceja, Colombia, 19 August 1994, Fernando Gaviria is one of the best sprinters in the peloton. He moved to UAE Team Emirates at the end of 2018 season after two stage wins at the Tour de France. His palmares includes four stages at the Giro d’Italia and the 2016 Paris-Tours.
Marcel Kittel (GER – Katusha Alpecin)
Born on 11 May 1988 in Arnstadt, Germany, and a professional rider since 2011, Kittel’s palmares includes 86 victories, with one stage at the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour and two overall classification victories at the Dubai Tour (2016 and 2017) alongside 19 Grand Tour stage wins (four at the Giro d’Italia, 14 at the Tour de France – five of them being in the 2017 edition – and one at the Vuelta a España).
Alexander Kristoff (NOR – UAE Team Emirates)
Kristoff, born Oslo, Norway, 5 July 1987, boasts major victories such as the 2014 Milano-Sanremo and the 2015 Tour of Flanders. His palmares also includes three stages at the Tour de France and last year’s Abu Dhabi Tour first stage.
Mark Cavendish (British Isles – Team Dimension Data)
Born on 21 May 1985 in Douglas, Isle of Man (British Isles), Cavendish has won 15 stages at the Giro d’Italia, a mighty 30 at the Tour de France, and three at the Vuelta a España. In 2011, in Copenhagen, Denmark, he became UCI Road World Champion, and boasts one-day-race successes such as Milano-Sanremo (2009) and the National Road Race Championships. “Cav” has won the overall victory at the 2015 Dubai Tour and three stages at the Abu Dhabi Tour.
Caleb Ewan (AUS – Lotto Soudal)
Born in Sydney, Australia, 11 June 1994, Ewan is a talented sprinter who claimed 11 professional victories in his first season, including a stage at the Vuelta a España on his Grand Tour debut. Ewan was in superb form in 2017 too, having won four stages at the Tour Down Under, a stage at the 100th Giro d’Italia, three at the Tour of Britain and the final stage at the Yas Marina Circuit in the Abu Dhabi Tour. At the end of 2018 season he moved to the Belgian Lotto Soudal team.
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