The Abu Dhabi Tour is now a WorldTour event, has moved from October to February, and again features a tough climb to Jebel Hafeet.
Organizers of the Abu Dhabi Tour announced the four-stage route for the 2017 race, which takes place February 23-26 after two years in an October time slot. RCS Sport, which also promotes the Giro d’Italia, named 20 teams for the race as well on Tuesday.
The Abu Dhabi Tour is one of nine races added to the UCI’s men’s WorldTour calendar for the first time in 2017.
In keeping with the previous two editions, the Abu Dhabi Tour will have three flat stages, likely favorable for sprinters, and an uphill finish on stage 3, which should decide the overall classification. In 2016, Astana’s Tanel Kangert won the race after riding to victory in the third stage to Jebel Hafeet. The 11-kilometer finishing climb tops out at 1025 meters with ramps up to 11 percent.
Also of note, the race includes the Yas Marina Circuit on the final day, where live, on-board camera footage was introduced on the international stage.
2017 Abu Dhabi Tour stages
Stage 1: Madinat Zayed to Madinat Zayed, 188km
Stage 2: Al Maryah Island to Al Marina, 155km
Stage 3: Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet, 186km
Stage 4: Yas Marina Circuit, 143km
2017 Abu Dhabi Tour teams and lead riders
Ag2r La Mondiale (F), Romain Bardet (F)
Astana (Kaz), Fabio Aru (I)
Bahrain – Merida (Brn), Vincenzo Nibali (I)
Bardiani CSF (I)
BMC Racing (US), Tejay van Garderen (US)
Bora – Hansgrohe (G), Rafal Majka (Pol)
Dimension Data (SA), Mark Cavendish (GB)
Gazprom – RusVelo (Rus)
Katusha – Alpecin (Swi), Ilnur Zakarin (Rus)
Lotto – Soudal (B), André Greipel (G)
LottoNL – Jumbo (Nl), Steven Kruijswijk (Nl)
Movistar (Sp), Nairo Quintana (Col)
Nippo – Vini Fantini (I), Damiano Cunego (I)
Orica – Scott (Aus), Caleb Ewan (Aus)
Quick-Step Floors (B), Marcel Kittel (G)
Sky (GB), Elia Viviani (I)
Sunweb (G), Tom Dumoulin (Nl)
Trek – Segafredo (US), Bauke Mollema (Nl)
UAE Abu Dhabi (UAE), Diego Ulissi (I)