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UAE Tour set to be first WorldTour race of 2021 as teams announced, including Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin-Fenix 

The UAE Tour is now set to be the first WorldTour race of the 2021 season, scheduled to kick off on February 21. 

As the only WorldTour race in the Middle East, the event has been a popular starting point of the season for a number of star riders, including former winners Primož Roglič and Adam Yates. 

This year the seven-stage race will be the first major event on the cycling calendar after the cancellation of the Tour Down Under, the traditional start of the WorldTour season, due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Organisers of the UAE Tour have confirmed that all 19 WorldTour teams will be racing their event this year, which runs from February 21-27, while Mathieu van der Poel’s Alpecin Fenix team have also received an invite. 

Last year’s race was cut short due to a coronavirus outbreak – the first cycling event affected by the pandemic before the entire season was suspended for around five months – as Adam Yates was crowned overall winner. 

The event, which usually features a selection of sprint and uphill finishes, will be the first time all WorldTour teams will compete against each other in 2021. 

Start list details have not yet been announced, but the race has previously featured the likes of Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar and sprinters Mark Cavendish, Caleb Ewan and Fernando Gaviria. 

The full route is also set to be announced in the coming weeks, although we do know this year’s race will start and finish in Abu Dhabi. 

Organisers say the strict Covid-19 protocols will also be published before the event to ensure the safety of riders and staff. 

UAE Tour 2021 provisional team list

Astana-Premier Tech
Bahrain Victorious 
Deceuninck – Quick-Step
EF Education-Nippo 
Ineos Grenadiers
Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux
Israel Start-Up Nation 
Team BikeExchange
Team DSM 
UAE Team Emirates

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