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Abu Dhabi set to host major new cycling event

Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) has joined forces with the RCS Sport agency to announce the launch of a new four-day cycling race in the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Abu Dhabi Tour is set to close the 2015 men’s professional season and is expected to attract some of the biggest teams and riders in the peloton. It will be held from October 8-11, after the one-day Giro di Lombardia – traditionally the final elite European event of the cycling season.

The CyclingNews.com website said the Abu Dhabi Tour will effectively replace the now defunct Tour of Beijing, but will not initially be part of the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) WorldTour calendar. For 2015, it is set to be handed a 2.1 classification, essentially making it a third tier event.

Details of the route for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour are expected to be announced in June, with the event to be organised by ADSC and RCS – promoter of the Giro d’Italia ‘Grand Tour’ event.

Lorenzo Giorgetti, director of RCS Sports and Events, said: “We are proud to advise and support the creation of the Abu Dhabi Tour under the guidance of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and the UAE Cycling Federation. This important goal is in line with RCS Sport's strategy focused on extending its activities towards new international markets. I would like to thank the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for its contribution to growing the value of professional cycling by taking into consideration, since the beginning, all stakeholders’ expectations.”

The formation of the Abu Dhabi Tour comes with the Dubai Tour (pictured) having made its debut in February and the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman having established themselves as Middle Eastern events on the cycling calendar.

“We are proud to host and organise the Abu Dhabi Tour, which will show to the entire world the most prominent landmarks of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and will bring additional value to the world of cycle racing,” Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, added.

“This event is in line with the overall goal of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council to develop sport through events that reach the entire community, from the young to families, as cycling does. I would like to thank the Government of Abu Dhabi, which will be supporting this event and the growth of cycling by creating the infrastructure to encourage people to practice cycling as a healthy lifestyle choice.”