ABU DHABI, Twenty international teams will participate in the 2019 UAE Tour, the only World Tour race in the Middle East, which sets off in Abu Dhabi on Sunday 24 February to finish in Dubai on Saturday 2 March. The 2019 edition of the UAE Tour features three summit finishes and three sprint stages.

This is the first year the Dubai and Abu Dhabi Tour have joined forces to create the combined UAE edition, organized by Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah Sports Councils.

The inaugural UAE Tour's seven stages will embrace all seven United Emirates. The first three stages will be hosted by Abu Dhabi, the fourth by Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah, the fifth stage crosses Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, the sixth is in Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain and Ras Al Khaimah, while the final stage sees a return to Dubai.

The 2019 UAE Tour has a total distance of 1,090km with a significant elevation gain of around 4,500 metres, mostly concentrated into stages three, four and six. 20 World Tour teams plus two UCI Professional Continental Teams are set to start. With each team comprising seven riders, a total of 140 athletes will line up at Al Hudayriat Island for the opening stage Team Time Trial. Among them are some of the world's finest riders including the only two current professionals to have won all three Grand Tours: six-time Grand Tour champion Chris Froome, the Briton � starting a UAE race for the first time � goes head-to-head with his rival the Italian Vincenzo Nibali boasting four Grand Tour titles so far.

Mubadala Investment Company, which has signed a sponsorship partnership agreement with the 2019 UAE Tour, will also present the 'UAE Tour Educational Project', consisting of an hour-long workshop created exclusively for students aged between 8 and 12 years old from UAE schools. The program focuses on familiarizing young people with the history of the bicycle, the health benefits of cycling and key road safety skills.

Source: Emirates News Agency