THE CANNONBALL IS BACK! Cavendish claims first win of the season at the Abu Dhabi Tour

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Madinat Zayed, 23 February 2017 – British sprinter Mark Cavendish of Team Dimension Data took stage one of the Abu Dhabi Tour and with it the overall leader’s Al Mariyah Island Red Jersey thanks to a textbook lead-out plus his own expertise and experience. The 189km Emirates Motor Company stage out of and back to Madinat Zayed had earlier been enlivened by a six-man breakaway that earned Manuele Mori leadership of the Intermediate Sprint competition and the Etihad Airways Black Jersey. Crashes in the final five kilometres briefly delayed one of the pre-race favourites, Alberto Contador, and put paid to the victory hopes of Marcel Kittel and Caleb Ewan, among others.


Stage 1 Results
Stage 1 Photo Gallery
Abu Dhabi Tour Roadbook
Abu Dhabi Tour route details

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1 – Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) 189km in 4h37’06”, average speed 40.923km/h
2 – Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) s.t.
3 – Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain – Merida) s.t.

1 – Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
2 – Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) at 4″
3 – Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain – Merida) at 6″


The Red Jersey, sponsored by the Al Maryah Island (General individual classification by time) – Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)
The Green Jersey, sponsored by Nation Towers (General individual classification by points) – Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data). Jersey will be worn tomorrow by Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
The White Jersey, sponsored by Abu Dhabi Sports Channel (Best Young Rider born after 1 January 1992) – Niccolò Bonifazio (Bahrain – Merida)
The Black Jersey, sponsored by Etihad Airways (Intermediate Sprint Jersey Classification) – Manuele Mori (UAE Abu Dhabi)

At the press conference, the stage winner and first race leader Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data) said: „Today we did our tactical homework. We studied the finale from this stage last year. We did it all wrong last year. We really studied last year and we did the opposite. In the end it went exactly as we planned in team meeting. I didn’t really have to do anything.

„The whole race will 100% be decided on Jebel Hafeet, as it always has been. There are too many sprinters‘ teams here to let a break go and gain a lot of time.“

„I get the biggest boost today from the fact that my team didn’t do anything wrong. I’d be grovelling for an apology if I hadn’t won today. It’s special to win here and get the Red Jersey. It was a goal but I’m most happy with how the team rode.

„Tomorrow will be great. Abu Dhabi is an incredible city and going past the Grand Mosque will be incredible. Last year when we rode by the Grand Mosque there could have been a crash in the peloton. Everyone was just looking at it open-mouthed. It’s one of the most incredible things you’ll ever see. Having won the stage at Al Marina last year, I’d love to repeat that this year.

„The biggest difference I’ve noticed here this year with the race now in the WorldTour is the speed, the standard of riders. It’s maybe the best total field you’ll find outside Grand Tours, and it’s maybe even better than some Grand Tours. You’ve got the best climbers and the best sprinters. It’s also a bit safer because you’ve got the big teams who know what they’re doing. It’s a lot more organised and less chaotic than some small races.

„I knew someone would go early in the sprint. I thought it would be Greipel but it didn’t really matter who it was. Someone else attacked and it was a case of using them as a slingshot. I just had to follow Mark Renshaw.“
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Stage 2 – Nation Towers Stage (153km)
From Abu Dhabi (Al Maryah Island) to Abu Dhabi (Al Marina)
Sign-on procedures: 12:00-13:20
Alignment: 13:25
Start – KM 0: 13:30 (transfer 2,500m)
Finish: Approx. 17:00
Race Headquarters: St. Regis Corniche Hotel, Abu Dhabi (UAE)

The second stage will take place mostly in the city of Abu Dhabi. After the start the race goes through Reem Island, then along the Abu Dhabi Corniche for the first time before turning south on wide, straight boulevards. Here the route passes close to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and reaches Shakhbout City – site of the first Intermediate Sprint, with several roundabouts on the course – before riding through Al Shahama and Al Bahya – for the second Intermediate Sprint – then returning to Yas Island. The final part of the stage is raced on the Sheikh bin Zayed Highway towards the Abu Dhabi Corniche and the finish line. The entire route is on wide boulevards with “cat’s eyes” road reflectors constantly dividing the lanes.

Last km
The final 5km are on increasingly large roads with large semi-curves leading to the straight finish on asphalt.
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Al Maryah Island is the business and lifestyle destination in the heart of the capital, and is home to Abu Dhabi Global Market, the world’s newest international financial centre. Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Al Maryah features world-class commercial, hotel, retail, leisure, healthcare, and residential components. The island features Rosewood Abu Dhabi; Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi; World class healthcare medical campus, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi; luxury shopping and dining destination, The Galleria; and the upcoming shopping giant Al Maryah Central with major department stores, Macy’s and Bloomingdales.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi opened in 2015 and is part of Mubadala’s network of world-class healthcare providers. It is a multi-specialty hospital offering critical and acute care services and treats complex and critical healthcare needs of the Abu Dhabi population, reducing the need for patients to travel abroad. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi brings the highest international standards of patient care with 12 institutes including 5 centres of excellence in heart and vascular, neurology, digestive diseases, eye and respiratory and critical care. The 364-bed facility was developed in line with the Abu Dhabi government’s Economic Vision 2030 to develop a robust, world-class healthcare sector in the emirate.

ROSEWOOD ABU DHABI – 153km to go
The five-star Rosewood Abu Dhabi arrived on Al Maryah Island in May 2013 and is the first Rosewood Hotels & Resorts property in the United Arab Emirates. The hotel features 154 spacious guest rooms and 35 suites, and the iconic tower also includes 131 serviced residences. The tower was designed by renowned New York architecture firm Handel Architects and was inspired by the glistening Arabian Gulf and the vast desert that surrounds Abu Dhabi city. The hotel features nine world-class restaurants and is connected directly to the luxury shopping destination, The Galleria on Al Maryah Island.

The five-star Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi opened in 2016 and enjoys expansive views of both the city’s skyline and the sparkling waves of the Arabian Gulf. The luxury hotel features 200 rooms and 38 suites, and boasts striking architecture and unique design elements. The hotel is a favourite with premium business travellers offering world-class standards of luxury and service. The hotel combines elegant and spacious accommodation, high-end facilities, and a host of exceptional dining experiences, all in an architecturally stunning building that complements its landmark location on Al Maryah Island.

THE GALLERIA – 153km to go
The Galleria on Al Maryah Island is Abu Dhabi’s foremost lifestyle destination. The Galleria bursts with activity as shoppers explore the wide selection of fashion, jewellery and watches. Restaurants serve up every conceivable cuisine, and year-round celebrations entertain a diverse audience of friends and family. The Galleria has direct access to Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi and is a perfect place to shop, dine and unwind. With more than 130 offerings under one roof, it is a must-visit in the capital.

Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) is a broad-based international financial centre for local, regional, and international institutions. ADGM was formed in line with the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision and is part of a comprehensive plan for the long-term transformation of the capital’s economy by focusing on knowledge-based industries. ADGM’s three independent authorities – the Registration Authority, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) and ADGM Courts – ensure a business-friendly environment and operations in line with international best practice that are recognised by major financial centres across the world.

Abu Dhabi Global Market Square (ADGM Square) is the commercial heart of Al Maryah Island. The area consists of four Grade A office towers, Al Sila, Al Sarab, Al Maqam and Al Khatem; as well as the Abu Dhabi Global Market Building. ADGM Square is seamlessly connected to two luxury hotels, Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Four Seasons Hotel Abu Dhabi; retail and dining destination The Galleria; and a five-and-a-half kilometre pedestrian promenade.

AL MARYAH CENTRAL – 153km to go
Al Maryah Central, a retail-led, mixed-use development on Al Maryah Island is set to open in 2018 and will become the new flagship shopping, dining, and entertainment experience in the capital. It will feature the first Bloomingdale’s in Abu Dhabi, the first Macy’s outside of the USA, and more than 500 sought-after brands. Al Maryah Central will also be home to 100 restaurants, and offer a wide variety of entertainment options. In addition, two 400,000-square-feet residential towers, set for completion by 2019, will house a hotel and serviced apartments. The development, including the mall, dining precinct, parks, and promenade, will be fully connected across Al Maryah Island with air-conditioned access to The Galleria.

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AL REEM ISLAND – 153km to go
In Al Reem Island, a residential and commercial district off the Abu Dhabi coast, you can see one of the architectural symbols of the Emirates: the Gate Towers, a complex of interlinked towers reminiscent of the prehistoric Stonehenge monument in England. The Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is located in the centre of the Island. Characterized by a grand central dome, the Emirate seat of the Parisian university is the first French high-education institution to have been inaugurated in the Gulf as well as the first international university campus.

ST. REGIS HOTEL – 134km to go
The St. Regis Abu Dhabi soars to new heights of splendour and service beyond expectation: in the vibrant heart of Abu Dhabi, it’s the finest address in the city. Each of the hotel’s 283 rooms revels in a magnificent view of the alluring Abu Dhabi Corniche. The Abu Dhabi Suite, high on the skybridge between the two Nation Towers has an astonishing 360 degrees view. The signature St. Regis Butler Service is complimentary for every room in the hotel. Remède Spa in Abu Dhabi creates a sanctuary for guests and an experience which borders on mystical.

NATION TOWERS – 133km to go
Nation Towers is a luxury complex comprising two towers that have world class facilities including The St. Regis Abu Dhabi hotel, loft apartments, office space, retail, cinemas, recreational amenities, a beach club and ample parking for residents and visitors.

EMIRATES PALACE – 133km to go
A real iconic Abu Dhabi landmark. During daytime, the hotel’s golden-sandy colour contrasts with its fresh green gardens, silvery water fountains and the blue sky. At night, the hotel’s lighting changes subtly, featuring a majestic rainbow-changing effect over the main dome. The main Palace building stretches over a kilometre from wing to wing, and its gardens and surroundings spread across 100 hectares. The hotel features 114 domes, with the central dome at an imposing 72.6m above ground.

The new Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace, on the Ras Al Akhdar peninsula next to the Emirates Palace hotel, will house the offices of H.H. the President, H.H. the Vice President, H.H. the Crown Prince, and top state ministers and officials. With its site of approximately 150 hectares, the palace will serve an important role as the primary governmental facility for receiving and hosting visiting dignitaries. Its design, which allows for traditional and modern styles to exist together in harmony, will ultimately be a source of pride for all in the United Arab Emirates.

ADNEC – 119km to go
The Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre is the largest exhibition centre in the Middle East with a total space of 133,000m2. It was opened by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates in 2007. ADNEC is owned by the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company and last summer hosted the very first Abu Dhabi Sports Festival organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC).

ZAYED SPORT CITY – 118km to go
This giant sports complex is home to everything from basketball and beach volleyball facilities to tennis courts, a football stadium and a fitness centre. It also has a bowling alley and an ice rink open to visitors. The ZSC’s International Tennis Centre – with six training courts and a centre court with a spectator capacity of 5,000 – hosts the annual Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

This architectural work of art is one the world’s largest mosques, with a capacity for an astonishing 40,000 worshippers. It features 82 domes, over 1,000 columns, 24 carat gold gilded chandeliers and the world’s largest hand knotted carpet. The mosque’s first ceremony was the funeral of its namesake, Sheikh Zayed, who is buried at the site. Reflective pools surround the mosque, amplifying its beauty: the striking white and gold colours shining in the sun are transformed at night by a unique lightning system which reflects the phases of the moon.

ALDAR HQ – 105km to go
The world’s first round skyscraper, Aldar HQ stands on a raised peninsula and offers stunning views over the city and the coast. At 110m high with 23 floors and it’s considered as one of the world’s most beautiful company offices. (Aldar is an investment company operating in the real estate sector with its HQ in Abu Dhabi. It has implemented the entire Yas Island project).

MASDAR – 100km to go
Masdar is the Emirate’s pioneering vision of a city of the future. With the goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable eco-city, Masdar is leading the way by developing a “greenprint” for how cities can accommodate rapid urbanisation and dramatically reduce energy, water and waste. The city combines ancient Arabic architectural techniques with modern technology and is built around a huge central Arabic wind tunnel that channels a cooling breeze through the streets and alleys making it comfortable to stroll around even during high summer temperatures. More than a thousand people live and work at Masdar City, which sprawls around the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology – a research university dedicated to cutting-edge solutions in the fields of energy and sustainability.

ETIHAD AIRWAYS HQ – 72km to go
Etihad Airways has its head office and training center in Khalifa City, near Abu Dhabi International Airport.

AL RAHA HOTEL – 70km to go
Set in landscaped gardens along a stretch of white sandy beach, this five-star hotel is on the Al Raha Corniche. It has rooms and suites including a brand new, luxuriously furnished wing. There are also 24 exclusive, seafront villas which have a choice of 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, adjacent to the main hotel.

EMIRATES PARK ZOO – 45km to go
More than 1,700 animals are displayed in the zoo’s Predators and Wild Animals enclosures, including a pair of majestic white tigers, a 31-year-old, 300kg-plus Siberian bear, lions, cheetahs and dozens of zebras. Situated in Al Bahia, a north-east suburb of the UAE capital, the Emirates Park Zoo features a park-wide ‘misting system’ which keeps animals and patrons cool in the summer months. Connected to the zoo, the Emirates Park Resort features air-conditioned accommodation with balconies overlooking the zoo, cave and gardens.

YAS ISLAND – 37km to go
Yas Island is a unique destination. A breathtaking island of diverse, immersive experiences and lasting memories, where families and friends, residents and business visitors can make the most of their precious time away. On the golden shores of Abu Dhabi – just 25 minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 50 minutes from Dubai – a world of experience comes together to combine stunning natural scenery with iconic design and high-octane glamour with laid-back family fun. Along with seven cutting-edge hotels, exciting theme parks, dynamic restaurants, global stars taking to the stage, a links golf course, and the most cosmopolitan shopping mall filled with leading global brands; the island offers a wide range of venue options and in-house event management services for business events including meetings, conferences and exhibitions. For more information, visit:

Yas Marina Circuit is the United Arab Emirates’ most exciting sporting and multi-purpose entertainment venue. Located on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the circuit is home to the annual FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX and much more. In addition to the extensive year-round program of professional and grassroots motorsport events and experiences including Drag and Yas Track Nights, the circuit has emerged as a thriving hub for entertainment and community events in the UAE. Whether you want to experience the thrill of karting at our Kartzone, driving an Aston Martin GT4 at over 200km/hour on an F1 circuit, work towards your racing license at the Yas Racing School, get fit at StartYAS, TrainYas or GoYas, participate in one of our many sporting events, or simply catch up with friends at Yas Central, Yas Marina Circuit truly is The Meeting Place of Champions.

YAS WATERWORLD – 36km to go
Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi, the only Emirati-themed waterpark in the world, is inspired by the UAE’s rich heritage of pearl diving through its unique story of ‘The Legend of the Lost Pearl’. The UAE’s first mega waterpark is home to more than 40 exhilarating rides, slides and attractions – five of which can be found nowhere else in the world. With rides and experiences on offer to thrill both the young and the young at heart, the waterpark plays host to Liwa Loop – a high-intensity looping waterslide, as well as the globe’s first interactive water and laser rollercoaster, Bandit Bomber.

The world’s first Ferrari-branded theme park is home to a winning mix of Ferrari inspired rides and attractions, the biggest Ferrari Store and a range of authentic Italian dining options. Attractions include the highest rollercoaster loop in the world (Flying Aces) and the world’s fastest rollercoaster (Formula Rossa) with a top speed of 250kmph achieved in a mere 4.9 seconds.

YAS VICEROY HOTEL – 36km to go
This unique five-star hotel is set half on land and half on water, overlooking the F1 circuit. The main characteristic of the hotel is its covering, a 219m expanse of sweeping steel and glass panels that provides a veil draped over the two hotel towers, linked by a bridge that crosses the racetrack. The lighting system, made up of over 5,096 diamond-shaped glass panels, changes colour through cable TV screens and creates a stunning optical effect. Inside the Yas Viceroy at the Ristorante Cipriani you can taste the dishes designed by Harry’s Bar in Venice and classic Italian specialties.

YAS MALL – 36km to go
With a surface of 235,000m2 and a range of international brands, the Yas Mall is the largest mall in Abu Dhabi and the second largest in the Emirates. With over 60 restaurants and coffee shops, Yas Mall also features a 4D movie hall, the super maxiscreen of the VOX movie theatre and, among other things, the first Lego Concept Store in the region.

YAS BEACH – 36km to go
Set on a majestic stretch of white sand, and easily connected to all of the island’s diverse leisure activities, this laid-back beach is a blissful new development on the emirate’s entertainment district. Sun seekers holidaying at any of Yas Island’s seven hotels and hotel apartments can now enjoy complimentary access to Yas Beach.

YAS LINKS – 36km to go
Set among rolling hills and delicate mangrove plantations, Yas Links Abu Dhabi – designed by Kyle Phillips, the world-renowned course architect – is the Middle East’s only true links course. Nestled on the western shores of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s landmark entertainment destination, every daunting, dynamic Yas Links hole has sparkling coastline.

SAADIYAT ISLAND – 20km to go
Just seven minutes from downtown Abu Dhabi and 20 minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport, the 27km2 Saadiyat Island is undergoing a remarkable transformation into a world class leisure, residential, business and cultural hub of global proportions, housing the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural assets. These will include the Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – all designed by Pritzker prize winners.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is part of the tourist and cultural development for Saadiyat Island, a complex which is planned to host three further museums, including a Guggenheim Museum and the Zayed National Museum. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will welcome visitors in 2017 and its opening date is expected to be announced soon.

Manarat Al Saadiyat (in Arabic literally means ‚a place of enlightenment‘) is a 15,400m2 arts and culture centre, designed to bring the vision of the island to life through The Saadiyat Story. The venue also features four gallery spaces. The main galleries of Manarat Al Saadiyat constitute of permanent spaces for a series of exhibitions and educational programmes organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

UAE PAVILION – 18km to go
Moved piece by piece from Shanghai, where it welcomed almost two million visitors to the UAE’s national exhibition during the World Expo 2010, the UAE Pavilion is emerging as a new landmark exhibition and events venue. Hosting some of the country’s most important cultural functions, the striking dune-shaped structure was designed by London’s acclaimed Foster and Partners.

SAADIYAT BEACH – 18km to go
Set on the island’s serene natural shores, the 400m beach is a great spot for a day out, and to enjoy Abu Dhabi’s clean, warm turquoise waters. There are lounge chairs, showers, bathrooms, lockers, changing rooms, towels, umbrellas, ample parking and lifeguards are on duty throughout the day. There’s a snack lounge and shop selling beachwear and sports equipment, while areas on the beach can also be booked for special events.

NYU Abu Dhabi is a research university with a fully integrated liberal arts and science college in the Marina district of Saadiyat Island. It draws students from around the world, and prepares them for the challenges and opportunities of our interconnected world. Together with New York University in New York City and New York University Shanghai, the portal campus is part of NYU’s Global Network University first international university campus.

The Corniche Road spreads across an impressive 8km of manicured waterfront that includes children’s play areas, separate cycle and pedestrian pathways, cafés and restaurants, and the Corniche Beach – a lifeguarded beach park where the sea has been awarded the International Blue Flag.

ADNOC HQ – 2km to go
The ADNOC HQ is hosted in a skyscraper on the Abu Dhabi Corniche. The building incorporates energy efficiency and sustainable engineering technologies, such as a double skin façade, photovoltaic glazing and LED exterior lighting. Designed by HOK, the overall building complex consists of more than 65 floors with an office tower, Corniche Club, SPC and Crisis Management Centre, a heritage museum and other supporting facilities.

ETIHAD TOWERS – 1km to go
This five tower complex invites residents and visitors to live, work, stay, shop and dine in one destination with panoramic views of the city and the Arabian Gulf. The complex also includes three residential towers and the 280m high, five-star Jumeirah at Etihad Towers hotel. The Avenue at Etihad Towers is one of the world’s most expensive and exclusive collections of boutique shops, with many having luxurious private rooms for VIP shopping.

BIG FLAG – Finish
A 122m pole (Guinness World Record in 2001) holds an imposing flag measuring 20m x 40m. The UAE Big Flag was inaugurated to celebrate the country’s 30th anniversary.

182 countries will broadcast this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour, right across the five continents. The 2017 edition of the race will be shown live by 12 TV networks.
Abu Dhabi Sports Channel, the WorldTour event’s host broadcaster, will produce full coverage of each stage – every hard-fought kilometer, from the first pedal turn to the finale – in the United Arab Emirates and across the Middle East and North Africa with commentary in both Arabic and English. This coverage will be boosted with additional studio shows before and after each stage, featuring international cycling expert guests.
Eurosport will show the Abu Dhabi Tour live in European and Asia Pacific networks, totalling almost 70 countries. In Italy all five stages will be broadcast on RAI Sport 1, while in France l’Equipe will show the event race on its free-to-air channel.
ESPN will broadcast from Dubai Tour in 35 territories in Spanish-speaking South America, Brazil and the Caribbean, and TDN will air exclusively in Central America and Mexico. North American fans can see live coverage on fuboTV in the USA and Canada and fans in Japan can follow the race via the live sports streaming platform DAZN. Supersport will air the Abu Dhabi Tour in South Africa, and Echonet will bring live coverage to the remainder of Sub-Saharan Africa.


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