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Abu Dhabi & Qatar

kleinstrokerkleinstroker Posts: 2,133
edited September 2016 in Pro race
Seems the UCI is keen to expand Abu Dhabi as one of the world tour races with possibility a 20 stage race on the horizon. Is it just me, but I really don't get the need or see the reason for any racing in the middle east.
Surely there are better places in the world to have a WT race. Columbia comes to mind seeing as we have a fair tally of them in the peloton. What has the world of pro cycling got in common with the gulf states?

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  • Seems the UCI is keen to expand Abu Dhabi as one of the world tour races with possibility a 20 stage race on the horizon. Is it just me, but I really don't get the need or see the reason for any racing in the middle east.
    Surely there are better places in the world to have a WT race. Columbia comes to mind seeing as we have a fair tally of them in the peloton. What has the world of pro cycling got in common with the gulf states?

    One needs money and the other has a lot of it. You could also say that both have a fluid relationship with ethics / rules and a 'let's say all the right things, but do what the hell we want behind the scenes' approach, but that's probably a different discussion..
  • ^what the Yorkshire man sez
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,824
    Money is all that matters, sadly. No room for ethics.
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  • It's surprising the the teams are happy to go along with this, as I can't see much benefit to them from riding in the desert watched only by camel herders.
  • Richmond Racer 2Richmond Racer 2 Posts: 4,698
    edited September 2016
    It's surprising the the teams are happy to go along with this, as I can't see much benefit to them from riding in the desert watched only by camel herders.


    Luxury hotels, all expenses paid, vg appearance money, bill picked up for families of the bigger names at least to join bf/husband/daddy on a nice Oct holiday

    Not difficult to work out
  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,225
    Columbia

    *pedant alert* Colombia - although British Columbia would be nice.

    I'm not sure there are many suitable roads apart from the coastal region and the essential highways linking cities. Huge areas with no population at all (like the middle east). Transfers very difficult unless everything takes place in one area because of difficulty traversing the country.
  • I sort of knew that about *Colombia* but it still seems more relevant to the world of pro cycling than any of the UAE does
  • How about Asia then? Massive populations, great roads and a huge cycling base many of whom are already fans

    as I said great roads!!
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  • Mad_MalxMad_Malx Posts: 4,225
    I agree. And having been to Colombia as well as several middle eastern countries (but not Abu Dhabi) I know where I would rather cycle or visit.
  • andypandyp Posts: 8,501
    Seems the UCI is keen to expand Abu Dhabi as one of the world tour races with possibility a 20 stage race on the horizon. Is it just me, but I really don't get the need or see the reason for any racing in the middle east.

    The possible 20 stage race was a quote from the organisers, saying that as the largest UAE state, Abu Dhabi was big enough to have 20 stages if they were required. There is no ambition to have a 20 stage race, the man was just making a point about the size of the country.
  • JSCLJSCL Posts: 1,259
    Money definitely talks. If you have it to throw at the UCI and for the organisational setup of the race, then it makes complete sense. The riders used to hate racing there because of the hot temperatures, but they love racing there now because they get ridiculous appearance fees, even some no-names.

    Plus they've got miles and miles of fresh decent quality tarmac and plenty of police lambo's to close the roads.

    But racing in the Middle East used to be different. Riders used to go there over the winter to start their seasons in good form and you could earn good money even racing solo over there if you were from certain countries, because the people organising the races wanted it. I know a few Brits who know live and race permanently in the Middle East, because they'll get paid to do it and they aren't really that good.
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  • Not really fussed if they organise more racing over there - there is already more cycling on TV than I can watch now so I may as well not watch a race in the middle east as anywhere else.
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  • But if the Abu Dhabi Tour is now a WT tour all teams have to send a squad. That cannot be a good thing when money is tight.
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,150
    But if the Abu Dhabi Tour is now a WT tour all teams have to send a squad. That cannot be a good thing when money is tight.

    Nah. New WT means you don't have to attend every event... and if money is tight then Peter Sagan should get a pay cut :wink:
  • dish_dash wrote:
    But if the Abu Dhabi Tour is now a WT tour all teams have to send a squad. That cannot be a good thing when money is tight.

    Nah. New WT means you don't have to attend every event... and if money is tight then Peter Sagan should get a pay cut :wink:

    You're right, just checked. 10 WT teams have to attend each event not all teams. Still season is going crazy.
    2017 UCI WorldTour calendar

    New events

    - 29 January: Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (Australia)
    - 6-10 February: Tour of Qatar (Qatar)
    - 23-26 February: Abu Dhabi Tour (United Arab Emirates)
    - 25 February: Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Belgium)
    - 4 March: Strade Bianche (Italy)
    - 22 March: Dwars Door Vlaanderen / A travers la Flandre (Belgium)
    - 18-23 April: Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkey)
    - 1 May: Eschborn-Frankfurt « Rund um den Finanzplatz » (Germany)
    - 14-21 May: Amgen Tour of California (United States)
    - 30 July: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic (Great Britain)
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