VeloClub is CyclingTips’ membership program which brings us closer to our members, and connects likeminded cycling enthusiasts.
by Shane Stokes
February 21, 2018
Dumoulin set to officially debut his rainbow jersey in Abu Dhabi Tour; Costa, Dennis and Aru give initial impressions prior to Abu Dhabi Tour; Rowe on return after multiple fractures: ‘I got my head kicked in a few times’; USACRITS.tv to launch March 15; 36-member Australian Team for 2018 Commonwealth Games; Welsh hospital introduces bedside exercise bikes for intensive care patients; Video: Alex Dowsett and Katusha-Alpecin train on the Yas Marina F1 circuit; Video: Velon’s pre-race buildup; Video: Cycling motivation – Nino Schurter without limits
Defending champion Rui Costa, Rohan Dennis and Fabio Aru are amongst the big names in this week’s Abu Dhabi Tour, and all three gave brief thoughts on Tuesday prior to Wednesday’s start of the race. “The new route with a time trial changes the tactic,” said Costa, who is with the UAE Team Emirates squad. “But Jabel Hafeet remains a hard climb. It’s 25 minutes of climbing. It’s not easy to be the defending champion and, racing on home soil we have many motivated riders like Aru, Kristoff and Ulissi.”
Dennis will be one of those in the running for the TT on Saturday, but didn’t give a predication as to how he might fare. However he suggested that the race against the clock might not have a big effect overall. “I recently got married, so this trip to Abu Dhabi is like a honeymoon for me,” he said. “After my wedding in Australia, I spent one week in Girona, Spain, so I went from heat to cold and back to heat again. The time trial is only 12km long, so I don’t think it’s gonna play that much importance in the final result.”
As for Aru, he confirmed this week that he will target the Giro d’Italia for UAE Team Emirates this year. The Abu Dhabi Tour is consequently part of his buildup. “For sure I’m delighted to start the season with my new team here. It’s my third time racing the Abu Dhabi Tour,” he said. “The time trial makes it a slightly different race this time. It’ll put more riders into the mix for the overall victory.”
The WorldTour race runs from Wednesday until Sunday.