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Tour of Dubai


Mike Honcho

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This starts Wednesday. Four stages. The first is a short TT around the Burj Khalifa. Second a very flat Road stage around the suburbs of 'New Dubai' including the Marina and finishing on The Palm. Third is a longer stage finishing with a moderate climb up to Hatta near the Oman border and the final a flat street stage with laps along the Dubai Beach Road finishing at the Burj Khalifa.

 

Full details

 

http://dubaitour.com/index.php

 

I will be heading out to get some pics of at least two stages including the TT and hopefully making it up to Hatta for the finish.

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if only there was the will and commitment to do something like that here....

mind you, it's taken what, about 30 years to give Sydney's second airport a green light, so I suppose a purpose built bike path, other than the M7 will be a pipedream.

 

 

Two brand new cycling paths have recently been finished at Al Qudra Road (total length about 86km if you were to start at the start of the track).

The first cycling track stretches 18 km and runs besides the northern part of Al Qudra Road. It starts off the first R/A following the bridge over the Dubai Bypass Road and extends up to the R/A on the intersection of Bab Al Shams Road and Al Qudrah Roads; where it joins with the second track to ensure continuity for the enthusiasts of long-distance cycling sport.

track4.jpgtrack5.png

The second track is a beautiful, unique loop of about 50 km passing through dunes and by the famous Bab Al Shams Hotel where one can always grab a cup of coffee.

Cycle Safe organises rides here on Friday mornings for beginners and advanced cyclists. There is also the popular Bab Al Shams coffee run on Saturday mornings.
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The soccer is Qatar but the rest is pretty accurate.

 

 

The track is exceptional. Cafe, bike shop, showers (air conditioned), two ambulance stations and a Medical Clinic. We also have a velodrome. When I first got here cycling was pretty much the Friday 'Wolfi's' ride which occasionally had Faris Al Sultan along and I took Pete Jacobs along once. Since then it has exploded. Races most weekends including Masters grades. Local bike shops even sponsor amateur teams. It really has come a long way very quickly. One of the Sheiks is pretty heavily into cycling which explains much. We even get live TdF with Arabic and English commentary in glorious HD. While there is of course the controversial things to the country, it sure is not boring.

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Day 1

 

1 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:12:03 2 Steven Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team 0:00:14 3 Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Garmin Sharp 0:00:16 4 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:22 5 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trekarrow-10x10.png Factory Racing 0:00:25 6 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 0:00:31 7 Adriano Malori (Ita) Movistar Team 0:00:32 8 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale 0:00:35 9 Alexandr Porsev (Rus) Team Katusha 10 Peter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team 0:00:37 11 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano 0:00:38 12 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida 0:00:40 13 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Garmin Sharp 0:00:41 14 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:42 15 Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha 0:00:43 16 Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team 17 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spaarrow-10x10.png) Movistar Team 0:00:44 18 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 19 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 20 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp
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A good day out and a chance to wander around the warm up and cool down areas with the stars. All seem pretty relaxed and enjoyed hearing Cav and Renshaw having a crack about their reunion.

Martin was a bit peeved he was told he was last one to go. Obviously aware of the affect the wind would have on the late starters.

 

You can put as much shit on the UAE as you like. The place has and is improving. Conditions have improved since I was here in 2007/8 and the same could be said for the conditions of the labour.

OK, they don't live in 5 star apartments ( but who does ) but they can make 5 times the salary they make in India or Bangladesh, plus get food, accommodation and full medical.

 

There is now a new 16k cycle track just out of Abu Dhabi at Al Whaba to stretch the legs safely on.

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I must say, I don't get involved with making excuses for the place, it is what it is. We all knew that when coming. Around the Gulf in Doha is another matter. I have financially better options there but have acquaintences there who paint a pretty bleak picture. I have visited of course (200 dingas return Fly Dubai BOOM!) and saw the Maam Sir version. I am interested to see where this Soccer thing goes.

 

Softy, do you ride with the Ethiad Plaza group? I work right across the road. Also, I got a request from a Scottish pro looking for a host for the Ab Dab International. I will PM you for further.

 

Sorry for thread drift.

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So with a 14sec lead over his own team-mate, Sagan 31sec down, and Kittell 38, has Phinney, or at least BMC got this one sewn up? Only 3 more stages, with 3, 2 & 1 sec time bonuses, you would think BMC unlikely to drop the ball here.

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Most of my limited knowledge of that area comes from snippets picked up while watching golf, cycling, F1's etc. But always thought Oman looked about the pick of the countries in that area if I had to visit one.

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Stage

 

1 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Team Giant - Shimano 2:50:30 2 Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale 3 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing 4 Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Team Movistar 5 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing 6 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida 7 Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo 8 Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Skydive Dubai Pro Cycling Team 9 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team 10 Raymond Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Sharp
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"Stage winner Marcel Kittel Giant Shimano"

I think that should read, " Marcel Kittel, Giant Legs"

the man's a monster by comparison to the other sprinters.

 

was a good stage to watch on TV and it gave a fair view of the sights of Dubai

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Very skinny last 800. Howling tail wind. Lots of flats the last 30km due to speed bumps. That circuit is our Dubai gentleman's ride and we single file to avoid them probably 20 of the 30km. Props to one of the UAE riders to finish 20 something in the sprint bunch.

 

Typical Dubai event. I turned up an hour before the finish and was welcomed to the 'VIP' stand with one of my sons. Free tea, coffee, juice etc served to your seat. No one there. Tomorrow will be a legit stage. The ride up to Hatta is probably similar to Mt Mee in Brisbane and quite a bit longer than today. I understand the riders are struggling with the dust in the air. Quite windy as the season is changing. Still cool. Was 22 at the finish today. If there is warm air at the back of the weather system that could jump 15 degrees tomorrow. The change usually happens the same week as the Abu Dhabi a International Tri which is next month though. Always hot at that event.

 

I won't make tomorrow's stage but have a bunch of photogs going so will still get pics up.

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"Stage winner Marcel Kittel Giant Shimano"

I think that should read, " Marcel Kittel, Giant Legs"

the man's a monster by comparison to the other sprinters.

 

was a good stage to watch on TV and it gave a fair view of the sights of Dubai

It is not a classically beautiful city but I must admit, the footage they showed did the place a favour. They had a big screen at the finish that I watched and knowing where they were vs what was on the screen, they did well. The city has been chaos the last two days as they announced the road closures 24 hours before the event. The closures were effectively a circle of the city with a criss cross of the major population. That said, it was a rolling closure and they were quite efficient. The stage from today will be far better next year assuming they use the same route. There is a bunch of construction for the Tram that will be finished in a few months. Inshallah.
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Plazbot or Softy,

 

having ridden there, do you think that the ascents at 128 km near Shawka and again at 155 km, 7 km from the finish at Hatta will make a difference, or will this and the last stage be sprint finishers stages?

otherwise, this race will always be won by the winner of the stage 1 TT, and this year,Phinney opted to have an earlier run and got the better of the windy conditions.

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Sorry, no pics right now but you probably already know Marcel Kittell won again. If you have some spare minutes, read the cycling news run down. Was great how he said if there was one more km he would have been dropped. Sagan is looking ominously dangerous for the year.

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