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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Mark Cavendish to compete in the first staging of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic

The British cyclist signed up for inaugural staging of the 180km race, which will take place on December 3.

Mark Cavendish in action winning the first stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour in February. The Briton will be back in the UAE in December to compete in the first staging of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic. Delores Johnson / The National
Mark Cavendish in action winning the first stage of the Abu Dhabi Tour in February. The Briton will be back in the UAE in December to compete in the first staging of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic. Delores Johnson / The National

Mark Cavendish will compete in the first staging of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic.

The event, which will begin in Abu Dhabi on December 3, will see 200 riders feature in the 180km race.

Hosted by Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the new event is the first of its kind to take place in the UAE and pays homage to the great classic races of Europe.

Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, chairman of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, said: “We’re delighted that Abu Dhabi Cycling Club’s first event will be the Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Classic.

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"Our riders are excited to compete alongside some of the best in the world and it’s a fantastic development for cycling in the UAE. The course will provide everyone with a unique challenge between both cities.”

Cavendish, who also has thirty Tour de France stage wins to his name, is the event ambassador and will be one of several leading riders in the peloton for the competition that will work its way from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain.

The 32-year-old said in a news release: “I’m really looking forward to playing a part in the first Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic.

"The event is a fantastic new initiative within cycling and it’s a privilege to be involved.”

Aref Hamad Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “The Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic is a significant new race for us.

"Not only will it bring internationally recognised athletes to compete in Abu Dhabi, but also provide a development platform for our own riders and particularly Abu Dhabi Cycling Club.

"We’re delighted that the event will be hosted by Mark Cavendish, who is a great ambassador for both his sport and our Emirate.

"The combination of the Classic and the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival is unique and ADSC are thrilled that these new events will be attractive to all levels of cyclists.”

The event will incorporate the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival, which will take place at the finish of the Classic in Al Ain.

The festival will work to promote health and fitness by providing families with the opportunity to cycle together on 800m circuits for free.

The race continues the growth of international cycling in the UAE with the Abu Dhabi Tour now part of the UCI World Tour, while the Dubai Tour is part of the 2017 UCI Asia Tour.

The Classic is strictly limited to 200 places by invitation only, but riders can register their interest online. To find out more information please visit: www.cyclealain.com

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