The first of a series of three races in the Middle East, the Dubai Tour runs from Tuesday, February 6 to Saturday, February 10, and attracts some of the world’s best riders.

Stage three on Thursday offered another flat day in the saddle, covering 180km from Skydive Dubai (where all of the race’s stages roll out from) to Fujairah.

The race, which is a 2.HC race on the UCI Asia Tour features four flat stages and a slight uphill finish to Hatta Dam on stage four.

That uphill finish no Friday is likely to decide the destination of the overall race victory, but the four other flat stages should see sprinters dominate the race.

>>> Dubai Tour 2018: everything you need to know about the desert race

As usual the race has attracted a strong field of sprinters including two-time overall winner Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors), and Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), all of whom will be hoping to make an impact on the race’s flat stages and get their season into gear.