Elisa Longo Borghini celebrates her overall win in the inaugural UAE Tour Women, flanked by team-mate Gaia Realini (left), and Silvia Persico, of UAE Team ADQ.
Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) made history on Sunday by becoming the first-ever winner of the 2023 UAE Tour Women after Charlotte Kool had sprinted to victory on the fourth and final stage. Longo Borghini took control of the Red Jersey by winning Saturday’s mountain stage on top of Jebel Hafeet, and made it safely around the 119km trek from Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy to Abu Dhabi Breakwater to seal her first race win of the season.
Speaking after winning the title, Longo Borghini said: “I am very happy with this victory at the UAE Tour Women! I am so proud of my team, we showed great togetherness here and are now confident for the rest of the season. This is a success for the whole team and now it is time for some celebrations with all the staff that helped me to achieve it!”
Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) amassed an impressive 36 victories since the start of her career, including bronze medals in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Road Race.
Most recently she claimed a GC win at the Women’s Tour in Great Britain, only two months after winning the Paris-Roubaix Femmes in 2022. She has claimed victory in both the Strade Bianche Donne (2017) and Tour of Flanders (2015) alongside holding nine National Championship jerseys in her locker.
The Presight AI Stage belonged to Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) though, who timed her sprint to perfection to claim her second stage win in the space of four days and the Green Jersey, crossing the line ahead of Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Stage 2 winner Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx).
Kool said: “The sprint was really hectic. I knew I had to be patient and wait for a gap to open up before I could launch my sprint. My team rode brilliantly every day here, I am very happy with our performances over the UAE Tour Women, we showed we are capable of achieving many nice things, and to finish it off like today is just a dream!”
Also celebrating on Sunday were Gaia Realini, who finished second in the overall standings, seven seconds behind her teammate Longo Borghini, to claim the White Jersey, and Canyon//SRAM Racing rider Agnieszka Skalniak-Sojka, who won the Black Jersey.
Realini, said: “I’m really happy to have finished second and won the White Jersey in my first race for Trek-Segafredo. Today was a fast, fast race and it was very nervous in the last kilometres, but I was able to sit towards the back of the peloton and my team-mates were there to look after me.”
Delighted after winning the Black Jersery for the Intermediate Sprint competition, Skalniak-Sojka, said: “I’m delighted to have ended the race in the Black Jersey and it’s the first one I have won at WorldTour level. I’ve really enjoyed this race and the weather has been really good, so I am very happy with how things played out.”
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Amal Al Afifi, Board Member of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy, Kholoud Al Zaheri, Board Member of the UAE Cycling Federation, Nouf Al Ali Director of Community Sports and Thomas Pramotedham, CEO of Presight, were present during the presentation ceremony.
Meanwhile, the fifth edition of the men’s World Tour race, the UAE Tour, will take place from February 20–26.
The UAE Tour for men’s will start and finish in Abu Dhabi and features four sprinters’ stages, two mountain stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 17.2 km long, high-speed team time trial. This year, the UAE Tour will feature over 1028 km of racing across the seven stages.
The riders will cross the diverse range of landscapes within the region, the race will feature a significant elevation gain of 3500m, almost all of which is concentrated in Stages 3 and 7. Two summit finishes feature in the 2023 UAE Tour, one at Jebel Jais, where previous stage winners include Tadej Pogacar and Jonas Vingegaard, both of whom have previously earned the coveted Tour de France yellow jersey, and Jebel Hafeet, an epic climb that has seen three stage victories for Pogacar in the last three editions of the tour.