Alejandro Valverde faces from this Wednesday the Abu Dhabi Tour, a five-day race included in the UCI World Tour calendar that sets the debut of the Murcian rider in this competition. Valverde arrives to the UAE after a great start of the season. He has won two stages and the general classification of the Vuelta a Valencia, he climbed the podium in the Vuelta a Murcia and he had great feelings in his first test in Mallorca.
Despite its short history, Abu Dhabi has become a high-level appointment in the only three editions held so far. This tour has been in the World Tour since 2016 and his track record includes the Colombian Esteban Chaves, the Estonian Tanel Kangert and the Portuguese Rui Costa, the current winner of the event. In fact, Valverde had already participated in the inaugural edition of 2015 -it was held in October as the final race of the season-. He finished in 7th place, hours before picking up the award as the winner of the UCI World Tour.
The 2018 race, which will be broadcasted in Spain through Eurosport, should be decided in its two final days: an individual time trial of 11 km and an arrival at Jebel Haffet, a climb of 10 kilometers with an average gradient of 6.6% and some sections that reach 11%. The three previous stages point to a massive resolution in favor of the sprinters.