It’s only a few hundred metres between start and finish, yet the riders cover 189 kilometres in stage 1. A large loop through the desert is responsible.
The route is similar to the 1st stage of the 2017 edition, when Mark Cavendish outsprinted André Greipel and Nicolo Bonifazio.
The route can be divided into three sections. In a straight line the riders race to Liwa Oase, a section of 59 kilometres. A loop around the oasis amounts to 70 kilometres before the race returns to Madinat Zayed. The parcours features some hills, but the sprinters do not need to worry. Strong winds could me more decisive on how the race unfolds. The course is open, especially on the straight sections.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the two intermediate sprints (at kilometre 55.0 and at kilometre 129.7) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Abu Dhabi Tour 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Profile final kilometres
Details start 1st stage
Details finish 1st stage
Madinat Zayed at Google Maps