Saudi Tour 2020 start list: Mark Cavendish opens season in the Middle East

Star names confirmed for the inaugural edition

The start list for the inaugural edition of the Saudi Tour is coming together, with Mark Cavendish set to headline the race.

Slated for five stages from February 4-8, the Middle East stage race is centred around the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh with a combination of city and desert landscapes providing the backdrop.

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The announcement of a new race in Saudi Arabia proved controversial, however, with a human rights group condemning the decision, saying “cycling is increasingly associated with repression.”

Despite the criticism, the race is expected to draw some star riders who want to test their early-season form with warm temperatures and flat terrain.

Cavendish will be making his season debut in his new Bahrain-McLaren colours, while his fellow Brit and former national champion Connor Swift will also be racing.

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James Shaw will be racing with his new Riwal Readynez team while fans of domestic racing will be delighted to see Ribble-Weldtite going up against some of the best.

Here is the start list for the 2020 Saudi Tour.

Saudi Tour 2020 start list

Bahrain-McLaren

CAVENDISH Mark (GBr)
BAUHAUS Phil (Ger)
BOLE Grega (Slo)
HAUSSLER Heinrich (Aus)
SIEBERG Marcel (Ger)
TRATNIK Jan (Slo)
WRIGHT Fred (GBr)

UAE Team Emirates

COSTA Rui (Por)
CONTI Valerio (Ita)
COVI Alessandro (Ita)
MARCATO Marco (Ita)
MIRZA AL-HAMMADI Yousif (UAE)
OLIVEIRA Ivo (Por)

Arkéa-Samsic

BOUHANNI Nacer Bouhanni (Fra)
GRONDIN Donavan Vincent (Fra)
JARRIER Benoit (Fra)
MCLAY Daniel (GBr)
PICHON Laurent (Fra)
SWIFT Connor (GBr)
VACHON Florian (Fra)

NTT Pro Cycling

GASPAROTTO Enrico (Sui)
BARBERO Carlos (Esp)
GEBREIGZABHIER Amanuel (Eri)
JANSE VAN RENSBURG Reinardt (RSA)
KING Benjamin (USA)
KREUZIGER Roman (Cze)
SOBRERO Matteo (Ita)

Total Direct Energie

TERPSTRA Niki (Ned)
BONIFAZIO Niccolò (Ita)
GAUDIN Damien (Fra)
PETIT Adrien (Fra)
SICARD Romain (Fra)
SOUPE Geoffrey (Fra)
VAN GESTEL Dries (Bel)

Astana

GIDICH Yevgeniy (Kaz)
BIZHIGITOV Zhandos (Kaz)
BOARO Manuele (Ita)
BOHORQUEZ SANCHEZ Hernando (Col)
MARTINELLI Davide (Ita)
NATAROV Yuriy (Kaz)
ZAKHAROV Artyom (Kaz)

B&B Hotels-Vital Concept p/b KTM

DEBUSSCHERE Jens (Bel)
BACKAERT Frederik (Bel)
DE BACKER Bert (Bel)
GAREL Adrien (Fra)
MORICE Julien (Fra)
REZA Kevin (Fra)
SLAGTER Tom-Jelte (Ned)

Circus-Wanty Gobert

DUPONT Timothy (Bel)
DE WINTER Ludwig (Bel)
DEGAND Thomas (Bel)
DOUBEY Fabien (Fra)
KREDER Wesley (Ned)
OFFREDO Yoann (Fra)
VAN MELSEN Kevin (Bel)

Burgo-BH

MADRAZO Ángel (Esp)
BOL Jetse (Ned)
FERNANDES José (Por)
FUENTES PANIEGO Angel (Esp)
GIBSON Matthew (GBr)
GUERRERO BONILLA Pablo (Esp)
SESSLER Nicolas (Bra)

Nippo Delko One Provence

NAVARDAUSKAS Ramūnas (Ltu)
DIAZ GALLEGO Jose Manuel (Esp)
HAILEMICHAEL Kinfe (Eth)
JULES Justin (Fra)
SISKEVICIUS Evaldas (Ltu)
TRARIEUX Julien (Fra)

Gazprom-RusVelo

CHERNETSKII Sergei (Rus)
BOEV Igor (Rus)
CHERKASOV Nikolai (Rus)
CIMA Damiano (Ita)
CIMA Imerio (Ita)
KULIKOV Vladislav (Rus)
KUZMIN Anton (Kaz)

Rally Cycling

DE VOS Adam (Can)
BASSETT Stephen (USA)
COTE Pier Andre (Can)
DAL-CIN Matteo (Can)
ELLSAY Nigel (Can)
MAGNER Tyler (USA)
ZUKOWSKY Nickolas (Can)

Riwal Readynez

KRON Andreas (Den)
DE KLEIJN Arvid (Ned)
HAVIK Piotr (Ned)
JENSEN August (Nor)
REINDERS Elmar (Ned)
SHAW James (GBr)
VAN DER LIJKE (Ned)

Wallonie Bruxelles

VANENDERT Jelle (Bel)
ISTA Kevyn (Bel)
PAASSCHENS Mathijs (Ned)
PLANCKAERT Baptiste (Bel)
SUTER Joel (Sui)
VALLEE Boris (Bel)
WIRTGEN Tom (Lux)

Terengganu Inc. TSG

REGUIGUI Youcef (Alg)
BATMUNKH Maral-Erdene (Mgl)
GOH Choon Huat (Sin)
HAMDAN Wan Abdul Rahman (Mas)
LAKASEK Irwandie (Mas)
MAT AMIN Mohd Shahrul (Mas)
MOREY Drew (Aus)

Bike Aid

CARSTENSEN Lucas (Ger)
BERGSTROM FRISK Erik (Swe)
DE ROOIJ Jesse (Ned)
HENDRICKS Clint (RSA)
HOLLER Nikodemus (Ger)
KANGANGI Suleiman (Ken)
WOLF Justin (Ger)

Ribble-Weldtite

LAMPIER Steve (GBr)
JONES Richard (GBr)
KYFFIN Zeb (GBr)
MOORS Oliver (GBr)
PAGE Charles (GBr)
REES Jack (GBr)
TIPPER Jacob (GBr)

Caja Rural-Seguros RGA

MALUCELLI Matteo (Ita)
AULAR SANABRIA Orluis Alberto (Ven)
BAGUES Aritz Aritz (Esp)
GARCIA SOSA Jhojan Orlando (Col)
GONZALEZ LOPEZ David (Esp)
IRISARRI RICON Jon (Esp)
NICOLAU BELTRAN Joel (Esp)