Quick-Step Floors Cycling Team to Dubai Tour
Elia Viviani will headline our squad for the five-day race, which will run between 6-10 February
Three overall wins, three secondary classifications and seven stage victories have made the Dubai Tour a happy hunting ground for Quick-Step Floors since the inception of the Middle East race, which this year celebrates its fifth edition, one that in the first two days will give the peloton's speedsters as many opportunities to test their legs and go for victory.
On paper, also stage three could end up in a bunch gallop, but it will all depend on what will happen on an unclassified climb topping 47 kilometers from the finish, whose gradients range from 2.3% to 7.2%. A stern test will come on the penultimate day, when the peloton will travel to the now traditional uphill finish of Hatta Dam (17% maximum gradient), before a return to the center of Dubai, on Saturday, for another stage suited to the sprinters.
Elia Viviani – the first Quick-Step Floors rider to grab a win this season – will be at the start of the race, which will mark Maximilian Schachmann's first outing for the team since crashing out of the Tour de Pologne last year and injuring his foot. Also making the squad for the Dubai Tour will be Belgian powerhouse Tim Declercq, neo-pro Fabio Jakobsen (a rider who impressed with his string of successes in the U23 ranks), Yves Lampaert, Fabio Sabatini and Niki Terpstra.
"We like a lot the Dubai Tour. Not only it's a very well-organised race, with good weather, but there's also the fact that we came out on top of the GC in the last three years and enjoyed many beautiful wins. This time we are arriving here with Elia Viviani as our leader, and I must say that I'm super excited to work with him. He took a stage victory in Australia, at the Tour Down Under, and our goal will be to repeat that result in Dubai", said sports director Brian Holm. "I am also thrilled about the return of Max Schachmann after that long injury lay-off and the debut of Fabio Jakobsen; he's young but talented, and it will be exciting to see him race for the first time with the big boys."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images