Abu Dhabi Tour preview
Final stop in the UAE for Movistar Team's schedule will see Alejandro Valverde and Juanjo Lobato sharing leading duties; intense heat forecast for four-day stagerace starting on Thursday
The Movistar Team's representation in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour has reached its HQ in the Gulf after travelling into two groups: the first, most numerous one -including five riders: Moreno, Rojas, Lobato, Visconti and Soler– reached the UAE late on Monday evening, while Alejandro Valverde and Eusebio Unzué, present in the Giro 2016 route presentation, came early today.
A training ride in the outskirts of the city -with no less than 40ºC- plus the traditional photo shooting and press conference for the UCI WorldTour winner and the other top riders in the race have been the menu of the first of two days prior to the race start on Thursday. All squads taking part in the event also have their own custom box in the Yas Marina Circuit, which holds the F1 Abu Dhabi GP and brings an undeniable technology focus to the race.
"It is the end of a hard season, and I am tired," conceded Alejandro, "as I think everyone is, too. That said, Day Three finishes with a hard climb, which is good for me, although there are other riders here who are in excellent shape, and they will be trying to win too, so it will not be easy. The rest of the race is for sprinters, and we have a fast man in Lobato, so we will be working for him."
"I'm happy to be here and get to know this race; the heat suits me well and more than a physical thing, I'm tired on a psychological side. The thing that takes the most energy out of me have been long journeys: getting into the plane, after spending many hours stranded in airports… and above all, being away from my family. Now I'm happier, because they're heading here for the race finale." Regarding his 2016 season, only one goal is certain: "The Rio Olympics. Other than that, I'm yet to see what's best for me."