Madinat Zayed, 20 October 2016 – مرحباً (Marhaban!) from Stage 1 of the Abu Dhabi Tour (20-23 October 2016), organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council with the collaboration of RCS Sport. Starting and finishing in Madinat Zayed, the largest town and the administrative centre of Al Gharbia, the largest and westernmost region in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the stage will be 147km long, raced mostly in the desert.
During the stage, 36 Green Jersey Points (of a race total of 152), 16 Black Jersey Points (of a race total of 72), and 16 seconds in time bonuses are up for grabs. Details of time bonuses and the various sub-competitions are given below.
The peloton, 106 riders strong, passed km 0 at 13.15. Did not start: dossard number 173, Matteo Busato.
Abu Dhabi Tour official start list
Abu Dhabi Tour official roadbook
Abu Dhabi Tour route details
Madinat Zayed, 1.00pm: sunny, 34°C. Wind: 11km/h, NNW.
Madinat Zayed, 5:00pm: sunny, 32°C. Wind: 18km/h, NNW.
The first stage runs entirely into the desert, with the first and last parts of about 45km on straight, wide roads. Once in Liwa for the first Intermediate Sprint, riders will find a short circuit characterised by constant undulations over dunes, adding up to a significant total elevation. After a second Intermediate Sprint passage in Liwa, the second part of the stage takes the riders to Madinat Zayed, where the stage will finish.
A city path with only three proper bends, one to the right and two to the left (the final bend being to the left). The last kms are on wide, straight boulevards, punctuated by wide-curved roundabouts. The final km is straight on asphalt.
Red Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Council (General individual classification by time), and White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1991).
NOTE: Time bonuses: Intermediate Sprints: 3, 2 and 1 seconds for positions 1, 2 and 3. Finish line: 10, 6 and 4 seconds for positions 1, 2 and 3.
Stages 1, 2 and 3 have two intermediate sprints and a maximum possible 16 seconds of time bonuses. Stage 4 has three intermediate sprints and a maximum possible 19 seconds of time bonuses. The maximum possible time bonuses for the whole race is 67 seconds.
Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points)
NOTE: Green Jersey Points – Intermediate Sprints: 8, 5, 3 and 1 points for positions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Finish line: 20-16-12-9-7-5-4-3-2-1 (points for first ten riders).
A maximum possible 36 points are up for grabs in each of stages 1, 2 and 3; and 44 points are available for stage 4.
Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad (Intermediate Sprint classification by points)
NOTE: Black Jersey Points – Intermediate Sprints only: 8, 5, 3 and 1 points for positions 1, 2, 3 and 4.
A maximum possible 16 points available for each of the first three stages, and 24 points are available on stage 4.
POINTS OF INTEREST
MADINAT ZAYED – Start
Madinat Zayed, the administrative centre of the Al Gharbia region with 29,000 inhabitants, was founded in 1968 by Sheik Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The main tourist attraction of the town is its camel racing track.
BAYNOUNAH INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY – 147km to go
Top class educational complex with four-storey buildings to accommodate more than 3,000 students. In addition to classrooms, laboratories and lecture halls dedicated for each educational institution, the complex includes a 1,200-seat auditorium, libraries for boys and girls and sport facilities.
SHAMS SOLAR POWER STATION – 147-141km to go
Shams is one of the world’s largest solar power stations, with a capacity of 100 megawatts covering an area of over 2.5km2. The parabolic trough mirror system of solar collectors concentrates the sun’s rays that are then transformed in electric power through a turbine. The power station’s impact can be compared with planting 1.5 million trees or reducing the road traffic in the country by 15,000 vehicles.
LIWA OASIS – 87-55km to go
A historical oasis at the outskirts of the legendary Rub Al Khali (Empty Quarter), in the Al Gharbia region, Liwa is famous for its vast desert sand plains and high dunes. It features a large date palm plantation of over 100,000 trees – an ecosystem that has been officially recognized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as it is a valuable mine of genetic resources and biodiversity, and a site of great cultural heritage.
The 2016 Abu Dhabi Tour is being shown in 177 countries, across all five continents; 13 TV networks are broadcasting the race, seven of them live.
Abu Dhabi Sports, host broadcaster of the event, is producing and showing the full coverage of each stage, from the first turn of the pedals to the finish line victories, in the United Arab Emirates and across the whole Middle East and North Africa region.
Eurosport is broadcasting the event live on its European and Asia Pacific channels, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. Live coverage is also available to cycling audiences in Italy (on the free-to-air channel Rai Sport 1), China (thanks to LETV), Japan (on the new platform DAZN), New Zealand (on Sky Sports network), Mexico and Central America (thanks to TDN).
Highlights of the race are being offered by ESPN all across South America and the Caribbean, by Fox Sports in Australia, by True Visions in Thailand and by FPT Telecom in Vietnam. Next month, highlights will also be available on Cycling TV.
The press agency SNTV is distributing the event news via its international circuits.
Abu Dhabi Tour website
Abu Dhabi Tour YouTube Channel
Abu Dhabi Tour Media Kit
From the official online pressroom the media can download high resolution pictures of the 2016 race, the various press conferences, the opening ceremony and the UCI Cycling Gala. In order to download the pictures, just go to http://pressroom.rcssport.it/ (username: press / password: press), select “Scarica contenuti/Download contents” on the top right, choose “2016” from the menu on the left, then “Ciclismo”, and then “Abu Dhabi Tour”. The photos are free of charge for editorial use, as long as both the Abu Dhabi Tour and the photographer’s name is quoted.
PHOTO CREDIT: ANSA / PERI – ZENNARO