Dubai Tour 2016 preview

With the Tours of Qatar and Oman having proved that racing in the Middle East can both be very exciting and attract the world’s greatest stars, it was always just a question of time before the wealthy Dubai City would venture into cycling. After a few years of planning, 2014 was the season where their assault on the cycling world kicked off in earnest, with the creation of a new continental team and a major UCI race.

The latter is the Dubai Tour whose inaugural edition was held that year. While it was Tour de France organizer ASO who took the brave decision to put up the first major race in the Middle East by hosting the Tour of Qatar in 2002 and later adding the Tour of Oman to their ever-growing portfolio of races, the local Dubai authorities have teamed up with Giro d’Italia organizers RCS Sport to put on their new race.

With little natural elevation in the Dubai area, it was always difficult for organizers RCS Sport to put together an attractive route for the the Dubai Tour, especially as commercial aspects force them to have most of the race taking place inside the city. With its wealthy backers, the race already managed to attract a star-studded line-up for its first year but even their money cannot change the geography of the United Arab Emirates. With no Omani climbs and no Qatari wind, the route may more be spectacular for its surroundings that take in many of Dubai’s landmarks than for the sporting spectacle.

As said, the inaugural edition featured an opening time trial, two flat stages for the sprinters and a hillier stage that was still decided in a bunch sprint. The second edition was more favourable to the fast men as the time trial was replaced by another flat stage for the sprinters. To challenge the riders a bit, they headed out in the desert on the third day in 2014 and last year they made that stage decisive by having the riders finish at the top of a 200m climb with sections of up to 17%.

In general, the 2016 race will be very similar. The tough finale to stage 3 will feature again while the spectacular finish on Palm Jumeirah Island on stage 2 is back too. The final stage is again a flat stage in the city but the finish has been changed. The novelty is that the opening stage will leave the city of Dubai and so give a bit more racing in the desert. However, it is still expected to suit the sprinters and so the race will be very similar to last year’s edition.

Dubai Tour 2016 route
Dubai Tour 2016 route


Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka
2. BERHANE, Natnael
3. BRAMMEIER, Matthew
4. DOUGALL, Nick
5. EISEL, Bernhard
6. JIM, Songezo
7. RENSHAW, Mark
Astana Pro Team
11. GUARDINI, Andrea
12. BOOM, Lars
13. DE VREESE, Laurens
14. FOMINYKH, Daniil
15. GRUZDEV, Dmitriy
16. SMUKULIS, Gatis
17. TLEUBAYEV, Ruslan
18. WESTRA, LieuweBMC Racing Team
21. GILBERT, Philippe
22. BOHLI, Tom
23. DILLIER, Silvan
24. HERMANS, Ben
25. MOINARD, Amaël
26. SÁNCHEZ, Samuel
27. SENNI, Manuel
28. VLIEGEN, Loïc</p>

CCC Sprandi Polkowice 

31. REBELLIN, Davide
32. KIENDYS, Tomasz
33. KUREK, Adrian
34. HONKISZ, Adrian
35. MARYCZ, Jaroslaw
36. SAMOILAU, Branislau
37. STEPNIAK, Grzegorz
38. PONZI, Simone

Etixx – Quick Step
41. KITTEL, Marcel
42. MARTIN, Tony
43. MAES, Nikolas
45. SABATINI, Fabio
46. TRENTIN, Matteo
47. VERMOTE, Julien
48. WIŚNIOWSKI, Łukasz
49. KEISSE, Iljo

Lampre – Merida

51. MODOLO, Sacha
52. BONO, Matteo
53. CONTI, Valerio
54. COSTA, Rui
55. FENG, Chun Kai
56. FERRARI, Roberto
57. PETILLI, Simone
58. POLANC, JanMovistar Team
61. VISCONTI, Giovanni
62. CASTROVIEJO, Jonathan
63. DOWSETT, Alex
64. IZAGIRRE, Gorka
65. LOBATO, Juan José
66. OLIVEIRA, Nelson
67. SOLER, Marc
68. SÜTTERLIN, Jasha</p>

One Pro Cycling
71. GOSS, Matthew
72. BARKER, Yanto
74. LANDER, Sebastian
75. MCCORMICK, Hayden
76. MORTENSEN, Martin
77. OPIE, Christopher
78. WILLIAMS, Peter

Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team – Al Ahli Club
82. HADDI, Soufiane
83. JELLOUL, Adil
84. MANCEBO, Francisco
85. OBAID, Tariq
86. PALINI, Andrea
87. CHTIOUI, Rafaâ
88. KAMBERAJ, Giuliano

Team Giant – Alpecin
92. CURVERS, Roy
93. DE BACKER, Bert
94. DE KORT, Koen
95. FAIRLY, Caleb
96. JONES, Carter
98. LUNKE, Sindre Skjøstad

Team Novo Nordisk
101. CLANCY, Stephen
102. HENTTALA, Joonas
104. LEFRANCOIS, Nicolas
105. LOZANO, David
106. PERON, Andrea
107. PLANET, Charles
108. VERSCHOOR, Martijn
109. MEGIAS, Javier

Team Sky
111. VIVIANI, Elia
112. FENN, Andrew
113. GOLAS, Michal
114. KNEES, Christian
115. MOSCON, Gianni
116. NORDHAUG, Lars Petter
117. SWIFT, Ben

Team Wiggins
121. WIGGINS, Bradley
122. CHRISTIAN, Mark
123. DIBBEN, Jonathan
124. DOULL, Owain
125. HOLOHAN, Liam
126. LATHAM, Christopher
127. PATTEN, Daniel
128. TENNANT, Andrew

131. BENNATI, Daniele
132. BAŠKA, Erik
133. GOGL, Michael
134. KIŠERLOVSKI, Robert
135. KOLAR, Michael
137. ROVNY, Ivan
138. SAGAN, Juraj
139. ROGERS, Michael

141. CANCELLARA, Fabian
142. COLEDAN, Marco
143. DEVOLDER, Stijn
144. NIZZOLO, Giacomo
145. POPOVYCH, Yaroslav
146. RAST, Gregory
147. STUYVEN, Jasper
148. VAN POPPEL, Boy

Al Nasr Pro Cycling Team – Dubai
152. ABELOUACHE, Essaïd
153. ALBALOOSHI, Majed
154. ALMANSORY, Ahmed
155. ALMANSORY, Jaber
156. MIRZA, Yousef Mohamed
157. RUBIO, Jesus Alberto
158. VAITKUS, Tomas