Quick-Step Floors Team to Abu Dhabi Tour
The first ever World Tour event held in the Middle East will coincide with Quick-Step Floors' final stage race in February.
Following his successful campaign in the Dubai Tour, where he crowned himself champion for the second year in a row, a triumph to which he added three stage victories and the points jersey, Marcel Kittel returns to the Middle East for the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Tour, a four-day race spiced up by strong winds and a tough summit finish.
Julian Alaphilippe, New Zealand National ITT Champion Jack Bauer, Gianluca Brambilla, Davide Martinelli, Fabio Sabatini, Pieter Serry and Petr Vakoč will be by Marcel's side, as Quick-Step Floors will try to get a win with the German sprinter, as well as leave their mark on the penultimate stage, which promises to be a challenging one. This will see the riders go up Jebel Hafeet, a 11km-long climb averaging 8%, but with double digit gradients inside the last three kilometers.
"We come to Abu Dhabi with a strong team, and our first goal is obviously to nab a stage win with Marcel. The race has three flat stages, which means as many chances for Marcel, but we must keep in mind that in Abu Dhabi the wind could be an important factor", said sport director Geert Van Bondt. "On the third day a mountain top finish awaits, and Julian, who proved in Dubai he's in good condition, and Gianluca, who was in the top 10 here two years ago, will be our cards. This way, we'll get to see where we stand before our March objectives."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele