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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
Some of the sport’s biggest names have been announced for this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour, with the organisers announcing the main riders as well as route details on Tuesday. Defending champion Rui Costa and his UAE Emirates teammate Fabio Aru are amongst the GC contenders, as are Giro d’Italia champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Miguel Ángel López (Astana), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep Floors), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac), and Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), with Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) a possible inclusion.
There is a glittering sprinters’ lineup too, including Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data), Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), Elia Viviani (QuickStep Floors), Andrea Guardini (Bardiani-CSF) and, possibly, Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott).
“Last season was horrible for me,” said Cavendish, who attended the race launch on Tuesday. “I had a lot of health problems, but the one win I got was here in Abu Dhabi – a very special place for me and in certain terms, a second home for me and for my family too.
“Last year, I was very proud to wear the Red Jersey as leader at the end of stages one and two, and win the final green jersey for the second year consecutively. I hope to repeat that success in 2018 and to be on the final podium again.”