The official route, jerseys and sponsors for the first-ever edition of the Women’s UAE Tour were announced yesterday in the UAE. At a press event the Abu Dhabi Sports Council, the race organisers, confirmed that the first edition of the race will start in Dubai and finish in Abu Dhabi.
As the first-ever UCI Women’s WorldTour race in the Middle East, the route of the UAE Tour Women will total 468 km and will see riders take on the UAE’s unique and varied terrain, passing many of the region’s significant landmarks.
The race will run 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, the same climb featured in the Men’s race (averaging 8-9% gradients). It is here where Tadej Pogacar has previously won the stage of the last three editions of the UAE Tour.
The introduction of the event into the UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar demonstrates the growth of the sport and offers local cycling fans greater opportunities to experience world-class racing within the region.
H.E. 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 WorldTour race. We welcome the world’s best female riders to the region and introduce another world class cycling event to the WorldTour 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.”
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 WorldTour 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.”
The mountain top finish at Jebel Hafeet will be the first chance in 2023 watch the climbers attacking and racing early in the season.
The official video outlines the route. You can watch here:
Here are the full stage outlines:
Stage 1: Port Rashid – Dubai Harbour (109 KM)
A stage in Dubai. Departing from Port Rashid and crossing the city, the route touches classic locations of the UAE Tour such as Ras al Khor, Meydan Racecourse, Umm Suqeim and Dubai Sports City to reach the base of Palm Jumeirah, and the arrival in Dubai Harbour. The entire route runs along very wide, straight and well paved roads, interspersed with large roundabouts.
Ending on a wide avenue, with the arrival to the finish line on asphalt.
Stage 2: Al Dhafra Castle – Al Mirfa (133 KM)
The stage of the desert. Stage 2 starts from Al Dhafra Castle in the desert, and reaches Madinat Zayed along wide and straight roads. After the city it crosses the desert again for over 60 km towards the coast, heading directly towards Al Mirfa.
Final section is on a wide road, perfect pavement and only one bend on a roundabout, before the final straight. The finish line is on asphalt 8m wide.
Stage 3: Hazza bin Zayed Stadium – Jebel Hafeet (107 KM)
The classic mountain stage of the UAE Tour. In the first part, the route winds through Al Ain, where many of the symbolic places are visited (including Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, UAE University). It then makes a passage through the desert, along the Truck Road E30 and returns to Al Ain for the classic passage of Green Mubazzarah. Here the final climb of Jebel Hafeet begins, where its final 10 km will be the judge of the race.
The final climb winds through wide-ranging hairpin bends on a 3-lane roadway. Gradients mainly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% at 3 km from the finish. Very short descent in the last km before a final ramp upwards. The finish straight is on asphalt.
Stage 4: Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy – Abu Dhabi Breakwater (119 KM)
A stage around the city of Abu Dhabi. Departure is from the Sports Academy where the first part of the route heads northward to Khalifa City and then to the industrial area of Khalifa Port. It then converges on Yas Marina to go to Saadiyat Island, touching the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Corniche, until arriving at Abu Dhabi Breakwater for a sprint finish.
Last 5 km is on a wide road with large semi-curves that lead to the finish line on asphalt.
You can follow the race and find out more here: