When is the 2019 UAE Tour? All you need to know about the inaugural cycling race

Lowdown on the seven-stage UCI World Tour race, taking place across the Emirates at the end of February and start of March

British cyclist Chris Froome (R) from team Sky trains with his teammate, Jonathan Narvaez of Ecuador, on a road near Rionegro, Antioquia department, Colombia on February 4, 2019.   Team Sky will compete in the Tour Colombia 2.1 cycling race, which takes place February 12-17. / AFP / JOAQUIN SARMIENTO
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What is it?

The 2019 UAE Tour is a professional cycling race, and the only UCI World Tour race in the Middle East. This will be its inaugural edition after the Dubai Tour and Abu Dhabi Tour merged to create an event that will take in all seven emirates.

When is it?

February 24 - March 2, 2019

What is the route?

The 2019 UAE Tour will be made up of seven stages, totalling 1090 kilometres. There will be one team time trial, three sprint stages, two mountain stages, and one medium mountain stage.

What is the breakdown of the stages?

Feb 24 - Stage 1 (16km): Adnoc Team Time Trial - starting and finishing at Al Hudayriat Island in Abu Dhabi

Feb 25 - Stage 2 (184km): Abu Dhabi Stage - sprint stage starting at Yas Island, ending at Abu Dhabi Big Flag

Feb 26 - Stage 3 (179km): Year of Tolerance Stage - mountain stage starting at UAE University, ending at Jebel Hafeet

Feb 27 - Stage 4 (205km): Dubai Municipality Stage - medium mountain stage starting at Palm Jumeirah, ending at Hatta Dam

Feb 28 - Stage 5 (181km): Sharjah Stage - sprint stage starting at Flag Island, ending at Khor Fakkan

Mar 1 - Stage 6 (180km): RAK Properties Stage - mountain stage starting in Ajman, ending at Jebel Jais

March 2 - Stage 7 (145km): Dubai Stage - sprint stage starting at Dubai Safari Park, ending at City Walk

Which teams are competing?

There are 20 teams taking part in the 2019 UAE Tour - 18 World Tour Teams and two Pro Continental teams.

World Tour teams: UAE Team Emirates, AG2R La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, Bahrain Merida, Bora-Hansgrohe, CCC Team, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, Dimension Data, EF Education First Pro Cycling Team, Groupama-FDJ, Jumbo-Visma, Lotto-Soudal, Mitchelton-Scott, Movistar Team, Team Katusha-Alpecin, Team Sky, Team Sunweb, Trek-Segafredo

Pro Continental teams: Gazprom, Team Nove Nordisk

Who are the star riders?

There will be plenty of big names on show at the inaugural UAE Tour. Representing the home team, UAE Team Emirates, will be 2017 Giro d'Italia points classification winner Fernando Gaviria. The Colombian sprinter will be joined by former world champion Rui Costa of Portugal and Norwegian sprint star Alexander Kristoff.

Britain's four-time Tour de France champion Chris Froome will be racing for Team Sky, while Italian Vincenzo Nibali - who like Froome has won all three grand tours - will compete for Bahrain Merida.

Other household names include Italy's Olympic champion Elia Viviani, Australian sprinter Caleb Ewan, Spain's former Vuelta a Espana winner Alejandro Valverde, German sprint star Marcel Kittel, former Giro d'Italia champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands, and Australia's UCI Time Trial World Champion Rohan Dennis.

What jerseys are the riders racing for?

Red jersey: Awarded to the general classification winner. The red jersey winner will also claim the UAE Tour trophy.

Green jersey: Awarded to the general classification by points winner

White jersey: Awarded to the best young rider classification by time

Black jersey: Awarded to the intermediate sprint classification winner

Any more information?

News on road closures will be made available closer to the race, but you can visit www.theuaetour.com to keep up to date in the build-up to the tour.