Former road world champion Mark Cavendish is one of 200 riders taking part in 180km race
Cycling legend and former road world champion, Mark Cavendish, is to compete in the first edition of the Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic.
The 180km event, which will begin in Abu Dhabi on Sunday December 3, will feature a total of 200 riders, state news agency WAM reported.
Hosted by Abu Dhabi Cycling Club and held under the patronage of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the event is the first of its kind to take place in the UAE and pays homage to the great classic races of Europe.
Dr Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, said: "It’s a fantastic development for cycling in the UAE. The course will provide everyone with a unique challenge between both cities."
Cavendish, who also has 30 Tour de France stage wins to his name, is the event ambassador and will be one of several notable international riders in the peloton that will work its way from Abu Dhabi to the Garden City of Al Ain.
The 32-year-old said: "I’m really looking forward to playing a part in the first Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic. The event is a fantastic new initiative within cycling and it’s a privilege to be involved."
The event will incorporate the Daman ActiveLife Family Cycling Festival, which will take place at the finish of the race in Al Ain.
Aref Hamad Al Awani, general secretary of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, added: "The Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic is a significant new race for us. Not only will it bring internationally recognised athletes to compete in Abu Dhabi, but also provide a development platform for our own riders and particularly Abu Dhabi Cycling Club."