As the first-ever UCI Women’s WorldTour race in the Middle East, the route of the UAE Tour Women will total 468 kilometres and will see riders take on the UAE’s unique and varied terrain, passing significant landmarks from February 9 to 12.
The four stages present several challenges for the riders, with three for the sprinters, and a stage finish suited to the climbers, which concludes atop the Jebel Hafeet, the same climb featured in the Men’s race (averaging 8-9% gradients).
It is here where the UAE Team Emirates star Tadej Pogacar had previously won the stage of the last three editions of the UAE Tour.
The opening stage of the race will be run in Dubai, and then moves to Abu Dhabi’s Western region for Stage 2. Then comes Stage 3 for the climbers before it concludes with the final stage in the capital city.
“Since its outset, the UAE Tour has provided a great opportunity to showcase our country’s landmarks and varied territories to the world,” HE Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said at the launch ceremony.
“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, added: “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 UAE Women’s Tour will be followed by the UAE Men’s Tour from February 20 to 26, providing a cycling extravaganza in the Emirates across 11 days.
This year’s edition of the men’s race, starting and finishing in Abu Dhabi, will feature four sprinters’ stages, two mountain stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 17.2 km long, high-speed team time trial.
The UAE Tour will feature over 1,028km of racing across the seven stages with riders crossing 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 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 the UAE Team Emirates Slovenian rider in the last three editions of the tour.
Source: Abu Dhabi Sports Council