CANYON//SRAM Racing continues its early season Women’s World Tour racing at tomorrow’s UAE Women Tour. The team’s roster for the second edition of the four-day tour consists of Ricarda Bauernfeind, Neve Bradbury, Tiffany Cromwell, Justyna Czapla, Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka and Alice Towers.
The Tour, held from 8th to 11th February, will see the peloton battle in strong winds as sprinters eye off opportunities for bunch sprints on three pan-flat stages out of four. The queen stage, with an 11km-long climb to Jebel Hafeet, will show the early season form of the World Tour climbers, but with the winds prevailing, it is not anticipated that the general classification will be won only on the slopes of Jebel Hafeet.
Three CANYON//SRAM Racing riders have already started their season at the Santos Tour Down Under and Women’s Deakin University race in Australia, while Bauernfeind, Czapla and Skalniak-Sójka will make their 2024 season debut tomorrow.
WHAT THE RIDERS SAY:
Ricarda Bauernfeind: “On the one hand, it’s a bit strange to start racing so early, but I’m also looking forward to it.”
“Three of the four stages are super flat, and we expect them to be very windy. My goal will be to learn to deal with the wind and find the best wheels. The third stage is clearly my favourite because of the climb! I believe we have a good team for the flat stages, with Agnieszka showing she was up there for the intermediate sprints last year. For the climbs, we have Neve and myself. Neve showed in Australia that her shape is great, so I aim to support her the best I can.”
“I had a good winter and recent training camp. It’s always a little of the unknown for the season’s first race – how much you’ve recovered from the camp and how your shape is compared to others in the peloton – but many of us are in the same boat, having our first race of the season tomorrow. I’ll soon see in the upcoming days how I feel and where I stand. It’s a good test for the next races, and I like that we will race in a warm temperature.”
Neve Bradbury: “I feel like I have recovered well from the first races in January. We all want to improve from the TDU and Deakin University races.”
“We’ll see echelons and splits already in stage one. We change direction a lot, so it depends on how many teams want to take it on and stop the peloton from coming back together at some point. Stage two will be full gas with crosswinds and I expect the same before the Jebel Hafeet climbs on stage three. The final stage has even stronger winds predicted. I’m looking forward to the climb, but I’m first focused on racing well as a team in the wind and taking it day by day.”
“We’ll want to continue working together well as a team and improving on what we’ve done so far in Australia. The crosswinds are going to be another important experience for me as I’ve not done a lot of racing in strong winds before.”
HOW TO WATCH THE ACTION:
The 2024 UAE Women Tour can be followed on X with #UAETourWomen, and fans can watch a live broadcast on Eurosport and locally on Awaan.
STAGE 1 | 8 FEBRUARY | DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN – DUBAI HARBOUR (122KM) | 13:10GST | BROADCAST 11:30CET
STAGE 2 | 9 FEBRUARY | AL MIRFA – MADINAT ZAYED (113KM) | 13:15GST | BROADCAST 11:50CET
STAGE 3 | 10 FEBRUARY | AL AIN – JEBEL HAFEET (128KM) | 12:55GST | BROADCAST 11:50CET
STAGE 4 | 11 FEBRUARY | LOUVRE ABU DHABI MUSEUM – ABU DHABI BREAKWATER (105KM) | 13:40GST | BROADCAST 11:50CET