Adam Yates kicks-off 2020 season at the UAE Tour

Wed 19 Feb 2020

Mitchelton-SCOTT return to WorldTour action with a strong mix of climbing talent and fast finishers as they line-up the seven-stage UAE Tour.

Brit Adam Yates will pin a number on for the first time this season and will lead the team’s general classification hopes, while Slovenian Luka Mezgec will look to mix it up in the sprints.

Mitchelton-SCOTT Team:
Jack Bauer (NZL, 34)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 28)
Kaden Groves (AUS, 21)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 28)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 31)
Callum Scotson (AUS, 23)
Adam Yates (GBR, 27)

The Course

The organisers have changed up the route for 2020, with the peloton tackling the Jebel Hafeet climb twice, firstly on stage three and then again on stage five. The notoriously steep Hatta Dam will feature once again on the 168km stage two.

The remaining stages are flat affairs that should end in bunch sprints, but things could change if the wind blows on the exposed desert roads.

The Past

The UAE Tour was created for the 2019 following a merger of the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Dubai Tour. The team enjoyed success in Abu Dhabi with Esteban Chaves taking the overall in 2015 and former rider Caleb Ewan sprinting to victory in 2017.

Adam Yates:
“It’s exciting to get back to racing, especially with a race I’ve never done before. My winter training has been going really well, so it’ll be good to get stuck in and see where I am.”

“As it’s my first race of the season I’ll be targeting the two mountain top stages and hopefully if I stay out of trouble then I can make a good GC challenge, but it’ll be good to firstly get back into the rhythm of racing and find my legs again.”

Dave McPartland (Sports Director):
“We’ve got a really well-rounded team with options in both areas in GC and for the sprints. So, we have both bases covered for the week, with potentially five sprint stages and two climbing days.”

“I’ve never a done a race where we do the same finish twice, it’s an interesting concept. I think it will be quite predictive, we’ll see on stage three who’s got the legs and it will then be clear how the GC is going to pan out. I think it will be a pretty similar outcome on both stages.”

“It’s not that steep of a climb and it’s on a wide road, so it’s not complicated, but I think we can expect Adam to be right up there. He will be looking to start the season on the right foot and a lot of the guys he will be competing against on GC all year will be there.”

UAE Tour 2020 Race Details:
Sunday, 23rd Feb: Stage 1, The Pointe - Dubai Silicon Oasis, 148km
Monday, 24th Feb: Stage 2, Hatta - Hatta Dam, 168km
Tuesday, 25th Feb: Stage 3, Al Qudra Cycle Track - Jebel Hafeet, 184km
Wednesday, 26th Feb: Stage 4, Zabeel Park - Dubai City Walk, 173km
Thursday, 27th Feb: Stage 5, Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet, 162km
Friday, 28th Feb: Stage 6, Al Ruwais - Al Mirfa, 158km
Saturday, 29th Feb: Stage 7, Al Maryah Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater, 127km

Photo courtesy of Chris Auld.