On hiatus since the first two events in Australia, the UCI World Tour has resumed with the fifth edition of the seven-stage UAE Tour.
The first two stages were fairly flat, but the next four stages include two uphill finishes and two hilly routes, all between 179-205 km, before the final stage in Dubai.
Two of the prior four event winners are riding this year, as well as four other prior medalists:
● Rui Costa (POR) ~ Winner in 2017
● Alejandro Valverde (ESP) ~ Winner in 2018
● Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) ~ Silver medalist in 2017
● Wilco Keldermann (NED) ~ Silver medalist in 2018
● Tom Dumoulin (NED) ~ Bronze medalist in 2017
● Diego Ulissi (ITA) ~ Bronze medalist in 2016
Stage 1 was a Team Time Trial won by Team Jumbo-Visma, with Primoz Roglic in front. The second stage, a flat sprinter’s race, was won by Colombia’s star sprinter, Fernando Gaviria, in a final drive that edged Italy’s Elia Viviani and Caleb Ewan (AUS), the 1-2 finisher at the Great Ocean Road Race in late January. .
The stages get tougher from here; summaries so far:
UCI World Tour/UAE Tour
United Arab Emirates ~ 24 February-2 March 2019
(Full results here)
Stage 1 (16 km Team Time Trial): 1. Team Jumbo-Visma (NED), 16:49; 2. Team Subweb (GER), 16:56; 3. Bahrain Merida (BRN), 16:58; 4. Team Sky (GBR), 17:03; 5. Movistar Team (ESP), 17:07.
Stage 2 (184 km): 1. Fernando Gaviria (COL), 4:36:32; 2. Elia Viviani (ITA), 4:36:32; 3. Caleb Ewan (AUS), 4:36:32; 4. Kristoffer Halvorsen (NOR), 4:36:32; 5. Erik Baska (SVK), 4:36:32. Also in the top 50: 39. Joey Rosskopf (USA), 4:36:32.
Stage 3 (179 km): UAE University to Jebel Hafeet (uphill finish)
Stage 4 (205 km): Palm Jumeirah to Hatta Dam (hilly)
Stage 5 (181 km): Flag Island to Khor Fakkan (hilly)
Stage 6 (180 km): Ajman to Jebel Jais (uphill finish)
Stage 7 (145 km): Dubai Safari Park to City Walk (flat)