Last year, all stages started at Dubai International Marine Club and this time at Skydive Dubai. It hardly makes a difference as the places are just a stone’s throw away.
Following the start the route zigzags within city limits before the riders head out into the desert. They race the Al Qudra Cycle Path for a while, a specially constructed track through the desert, and then return to town.
Via Expo 2020 and the Jumeirah Islands the race ends on Palm Jumeirah, the artificial archipelago in the shape of palm trees. It’s not only the same arrival as in last year’s 1st stage, the final 30 kilometres are exactly the same. Back then, Marcel Kittel outsprinted Dylan Groenwegen and Mark Cavendish.
The finish on the edge of the Palm Jumeirah is technically difficult. Firstly, there is a tunnel with 6 kilometres to go, and secondly, there is a switchback with 3 kilometres. Furthermore, while heading to the line the road curves gradually right and narrows to a single lane. It’s hard to keep a sprint train together, especially since the last kilometres run along the coast and the road is exposed on the riders’ left.
The first three riders on the line at the 2018 Dubai Tour take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprint (at kilometre 75) in stage 1 comes with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
Read also: results/race report 1st stage 2018 Dubai Tour.
Dubai Tour 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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