Tour of Dubai, stage 3


Today’s installment arrives on February 7, 2014. Which is noteworthy because a) today held the third stage that has ever existed in the entirely history of the Tour of Dubai and b) it is exactly eight months and eleven days until the Krempels King of the Road Challenge. WHICH, we all know, will be an absolutely smashing Saturday, in large part because last year’s third edition of the ride was such a success, so the fourth annual event is always all the more knock-it-out-of-the-park. So if you haven’t already, I encourage you to mosey over here and explore.

Stage 3 was the Tour of Dubai’s “Nature Stage”, according to the reading material. I’ll readily admit, I really like this race and the abundance of nature found today here in Dubai didn’t disappoint. I’ve been to the high desert of Oregon (look it up, it is a desert), I’ve sessioned Tucson a handful of times and have raced through California’s desert, plus I’ve cruised through Vegas on two occasions, but nothing compares to the desert of the Middle East. Or maybe something does, but the point being, certainly not that I’ve seen.

This place is truly spectacular. We rolled out of town on some massive and silky smooth roads, then even though we turned a lot and therefore had crosswinds, headwinds, and tailwinds swirling throughout the day, we cruised along at a modest clip all day and finished the race approaching 43kph.

We left the pancake flatlands, ventured westward into the seemingly infinite red sand of the rolling desert, and ultimately into the craggy mountains along the eastern edge of the peninsula.

I went to Aspen when I was a wee lad and thought it was the coolest thing ever to see an array of BMWs as their police cars. That memory was eclipsed by the highlight of today when I saw that Dubai surely has the title for the world’s most tricked out fleet of police cars. If I’m not mistaken, the Bugatti Veyron is the world’s fastest production car. Or something absurd like that. You know it’s baller when the Ferrari pales in comparison.

A relatively lowlight on the day, although exceedingly interesting, occurred when we were trucking along at a good clip on a wide open divided highway amid false-flat rolling hills, when all of a sudden a Toyota 4-Runner came zooming over a knoll on the hill ahead of us at I’m ballparking 80mph. I’m good at judging speed, so let’s assume I’m exactly right. The driver must have been utterly flabbergast to see a bike race coming in her direction (albeit, and very importantly, in the opposite lane of, again, a highway divided by a 3′ cement wall), she then slammed on her brakes, locked up the wheels entirely which resulted in ear splitting, squealing tires and a plume of smoke, amid all this her car started fishtailing, at which point she had entirely lost control and then slammed into the cement barrier between the two of us! By now, we’re past her, but we’re going 30mph and she’s going an ever decreasing 80mph, and all we see is a smoke/dust/sand cloud a have mile high. Judging by the way I saw things transpire, and having a pretty good handle on how physics and top-heavy, high-siding cars work, I’m guessing her car flipped three times before coming to a stop on it’s side. Scary.

And then we finished a bike race, Peter was 3rd, the finale was a lot of fun, then we rode another hour and change, then stopped on the side of the highway, set up chairs, considered it a good place to clean off, and drove the rest of the way. So that random photo at the top of the page? That’s what that is. Goodnight.


  1. JohnnyG

    Thank Ted for the latest from Dubai. Sounds like a fascinating place. Best of luck. Can’t wait for my third Krempels ride. Cheers. JohnnyG

  2. ChrisoChrisO

    Hi Ted, have been enjoying your blogs on and off for a while now so I think you will appreciate a small pointer from a Dubai resident to ensure your next visit is a happy one…

    NEVER call it the Persian Gulf in hearing or viewing of any Gulf locals. It’s an extremely hot topic – and indeed one where I think your own government would fall on the same side, not being particularly keen to enhance any territorial claims from Iran (i.e. Persia).

    We’ve loved having the Tour in town. Cyclists here are in some ways well catered for with cycle tracks and so on, but also somewhat oppressed since we have to drive to the cycle tracks and ride around them – none of that leisure, exploration and recreational cycling nonsense here. Hoping the Tour raises the profile a bit, although none of my friends understand why I’m not racing in it.

  3. Jonathan Zammit Moore

    Ted, it was great meeting you & the rest of the Cannondale team. What a great bunch of guys, one word of advise if I may, remove the word “Persian” from next to Gulf ! The locals here see it as their Gulf, and that’s how they refer to it 😉 P…… Gulf = not good 🙂
    Till next time.

  4. debby(m)

    Hey Ted, I just had to spend a week in hospital, but there was live coverage of Dubai on Eurosport to help keep me sane (thank you, hospital directors, for beside TV)! What happened to Peter Sagan on the final stage? We were shown he was off his bike, but we weren’t shown how or why.

    It’s great to be home again with internet access and catch up on your blog. Now I just need to get my arm to heal so’s I can start my share of knitting on (Becky’s) Krempels blanket.
    Wishing you a great season (and selfishly wishing me & Little’Un a roadside spot to cheer you on during the contre-la-montre in Périgueux on July 26th)!

  5. Drew Szeliga

    Will this not be the 4th Krempels King of the Road Challenge? Because I always thought that the fourth installment of anything was the best.


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