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Villalobos wins at San Juan; strong field for Abu Dhabi Tour: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

January 24, 2018

Villalobos wins stage 2, takes race lead at Vuelta a San Juan; Benoot pleased with unexpected third place; Impressive lineup announced for Abu Dhabi Tour; Abu Dhabi route details unveiled; KordaMentha Real Estate – Australian national teams announced for Cadel Evans Great Road Race; INRNG on Armstrong’s lifetime ban and the Tour of Flanders; Ovett signs for Australian Cycling Academy; Strava expands with new office in Denver; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour 2018 – Official promo; Video: Abu Dhabi Tour 2018 – The jerseys

Abu Dhabi route details unveiled

by Shane Stokes

In addition to details of the biggest names who will ride the event, Tuesday also saw route details being laid out for the Abu Dhabi Tour. The first three stages are likely to go to the sprinters. They are the 189 kilometre Al Dhafra stage, which starts and finishes in Madinat Zayed and is based mainly in the desert, the Yas Island stage (154 kilometres) and the Nation Towers stage (133km), which will tour the capital and finish on Al Marina.

The following day’s Al Maryah Island stage is the race’s first-ever time trial, and covers 11.8 flat, fast kilometres on a non-technical course. The race will then conclude on Sunday February 25 with the 199 kilometre mountain stage from Al Ain to Jebel Hafeet. This finishes at an altitude of 1,025 metres and will pitch the climbers against the all-rounders in terms of the GC battle.

“We’re working to make the race more appealing to fans and riders, and this [route] upgrade represents a unique opportunity to make the challenge for the overall standings stronger and not only related to the mountain stage,” said Abu Dhabi Sports Council General Secretary H.E. Aref Al Awani. “In addition, we can better explore our territory and promote the country worldwide as a perfect destination for cycle tourists.”

The race runs from February 21 to 25 and is a WorldTour event.

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