Dubai Tour looking for WorldTour status in a few years
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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dubai Tour looking for WorldTour status in a few years

by Ben Atkins at 8:43 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Emirate will look to work with other members of the UAE to build a three-week race

dubai tourBefore it has even run its first edition, the Tour of Dubai is already talking about achieving WorldTour status, de Telegraaf reports. The race, which will be made up of just four stages in 2014, starting with a ten kilometre time trial from the Dubai World Trade Centre, but the organisation has high hopes of building it right up to three-weeks in future years.

The 2.1-ranked event will be the third tour to be organised in the region, and will come just before the more established 2.HC-ranked Tours of Qatar and Oman. The others are organised by Tour de France owner ASO, but the Dubai race will be run on behalf of the Dubai Tour High Committee by Giro d’Italia owner RCS Sport.

“RCS is an organisation where it clicked right away,” said Rashid Al Awadhi of the Dubai Sports Council. “And they have a wealth of experience, which can help us to go even higher.”

Al Awadhi acknowledged the rivalry between Dubai, and Qatar and Oman, which it sits geographically between as part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but emphasised that, despite the competition, the relationship is a healthy one.

“Of course there's competition between us, but that can only be good,” he said. “That makes each other stronger, but we complement each other well. There is contact with Qatar about the organisation. Just after our race, the tour of Qatar is also on the calendar.”

The Dubai Tour is by no means going to be satisfied with its 2.1 status for long though, and is reportedly looking to be part of the WorldTour in the not too distant future. Rather than take its place as one of the smaller tours on the calendar, however, but will seek to collaborate with several of the other Emirates in the UAE to eventually make it a three-week Grand Tour in the Middle East.

“We will be, in the future, a 21-day tour,” Al Awadhi said. “That does not work in one or two years, that takes a lot of years of planning.”

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