Aref Al Awani, Saeed Hareb and other dignitaries during the press conference at the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club.
The official route and jerseys for the first-ever edition of the Women’s UAE Tour were unveiled at the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club on Tuesday.
As the first-ever UCI Women’s World Tour race in the Middle East, the route of the UAE Tour Women will total 468 km and see riders take on the country’s unique and varied terrain, passing significant landmarks.
From 9 to 12 February, the four stages present several challenges for the riders, with three for the sprinters, and a stage finish suited to the climbers. The race concludes atop of the Jebel Hafeet.
Organised by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), the UCI Women’s World Tour race will run ahead of the fifth edition of the men’s World Tour race, the UAE Tour, from February 20-26.
Among the 20 teams set to take part is UAE Team ADQ, the country’s first professional women’s cycling team. The team comprises of 16 riders from nine countries.
The introduction of the event into the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar is hugely important for international cycling.
It showcases the growth of the sport and offers local cycling fans greater opportunities to experience world-class racing within the region.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “Since its outset, the UAE Tour has provided a great opportunity to showcase our country’s landmarks and varied territories to the world. It has also allowed us to showcase how the popularity of cycling has grown significantly within the region.
“Today we are excited to announce the routes and jerseys of the first-ever UAE Tour Women World Tour race. We welcome the world’s best female riders to the region and introduce another world class cycling event to the World Tour calendar.
“Showcasing the steps we have taken to promote professional women’s cycling in the region, this latest race represents a major milestone for the country’s development in the sport,” he added.”
Fabrizio D’Amico, Chief Operating Officer RCS Sports and Events and UAE Tour Director said: “We are proud to work with the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and bring the UAE Tour Women to the region. The goal is to make this race one of the greatest and most important races of the UCI Women’s World Tour calendar.
“We truly believe it will bring the same level or excitement as the men’s race and bring new audiences to the sport. The race is a hugely important addition to the racing calendar, and provides a unique opportunity to showcase the development of women’s cycling within the country and the whole continent.”
Meanwhile, the organisers also unveiled the official route and jerseys for the fifth edition of the UAE Tour.
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.