The UAE Tour race organisers, Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), confirmed that this year’s edition of the race will feature four sprinters’ stages, two mountain stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 9km long, high-speed individual time trial.
The one and only World Tour race in the Middle East, the UAE Tour, is set to kick-start the 2022 UCI World Tour calendar with 1081km of racing across seven stages from February 20 to 26.
The race, which crosses a diverse mix of landscapes, will feature a significant elevation gain of 3500m, almost all of which is concentrated in Stages 4 and 7.
Now in its fourth edition, this year’s tour coincides with another significant event for the UAE — Expo 2020 Dubai — the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and that will host the start of Stage 6.
Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of ADSC said: “We are pleased to announce the routes, Jerseys and sponsors of the UAE Tour in its fourth edition.
“Once again, we welcome the world’s elite teams and riders to the launch of global races on the UCI’s agenda, hoping that the UAE Tour will be a gateway to the start of the season.
“A rich world full of successes and positive results for all, thanks to the sincere efforts made by the competent authorities and their supervision of the application of all precautionary and preventive measures for the safety and health of all.
He added: “The UAE Tour has become a prestigious sport brand among the major events in the world, and has been able to multiply the successes and gains every year, and has contributed to achieving important societal impacts on different groups and generations.
“Cycling has become one of the important sports with wide spread presence in society over the years. It enhances the quality of life index and supports a healthy and sporting lifestyle among all groups and segments of society.”
He continued, “We are fully prepared to host the fourth edition of the UAE Tour - the one and only WorldTour cycling race in the Middle East, in support of the success of previous years in light of the great experience enjoyed by the various work teams and fruitful cooperation with all government and private agencies, sponsors and supporters of the success of the prestigious event.
“We take pride on the value of the UAE Tour, the event that has proven its great position since the launch of its first edition in 2019, and which recorded sporting, promotional and economic achievements for the various emirates of the country and their urban, historical and tourist attractions.”
Stage 1 – Al Ain Water Stage - Madinat Zayed - Madinat Zayed (185km):
A stage taking place entirely in the desert. It’s beginning and finale follow approximately 45km of straight roads. Once in Liwa, the route enters a zone of dunes that make up the bulk of the stage's elevation. A series of ups and downs will be covered twice to take the riders to Moreeb Dune. After passing Liwa for the second time, the route follows the same way back to Madinat Zayed.
A perfectly straight city route. It runs along wide, straight avenues with no obstacles whatsoever. Final stretch on asphalt.
Stage 2 – International Holding Company Stage - Hudayriyat Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater (173km):
A stage around the city of Abu Dhabi. It departs from Hudayriat Island and runs in its first part in Abu Dhabi to reach the Sheikh Zayed Bridge (arch. Zaha Hadyd) and then to Khalifa City. After the halfway point at Al Wathba Camel Track, the route passes by Al Falah to converge on Yas Marina and head to Saadiyat Island and the Corniche before reaching Abu Dhabi Breakwater, where a bunch sprint is expected.
The final 5km remains on a wide road with sweeping bends leading to the tarmac finish line.
Stage 3 – G42 Stage presented by Tissot - Ajman ITT (9km):
An individual time trial entirely in Ajman that features a very fast course characterised only by a U-turn about halfway along the route. The road is perfectly flat and wide with wide radius turns.
Wide turns, wide road, perfect pavement. Asphalt finish line.
Stage 4 – Burjeel Medical City Stage - Fujairah Fort - Jebel Jais (181km):
This is the first of two most likely decisive mountain stages in the UAE Tour. It is divided into two distinctly different parts: the first being an undulating approach to the final mountain through the desert and the second being the last 20km or so of continuous climbing to the finish. Departure is from Fujairah, crossing the desert areas on the edge of the Hajar Mountains towards Ras-al-Khaimah, whose capital city is not crossed by the race, which heads directly towards Jebel Jais Mountain. The stage’s final climb is around 20km in length at an almost constant 5%, with slightly steeper gradients of around 7% in the last 2km.
A final climb which winds along hairpin bends on a very wide roadway. Gradients remain mainly around 4/5% in the climb’s first part and 5/7% in its second with a peak of 9% 2 km from the finish. Tarmac finishing straight.
Stage 5 - Marjan Stage - Ras al Khaimah Corniche – Al Marjan Island (182km):
The stage starts in Ras-al-Khaimah to cross the desert after the departure. At the foot of Jebel Jais it then heads to Umm al Quwain and north across the desert again to almost reach Ras al Khaimah before heading to Marjan Island for the final sprint. The entire route takes place on wide, well-paved and essentially straight roads through the desert where wind and sometimes sand can affect the peloton.
Final stretch on a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on tarmac.
Stage 6 - Expo 2020 Dubai Stage – Expo 2020 Dubai – Expo 2020 Dubai (180km):
The city stage of Dubai, departing from Expo 2020 Dubai. The first part of the stages takes place in the desert, touching familiar locations: Dubai Sports City, Silicon Oasis Meydan Racecourse until reaching Emirates Towers. The route crosses Jumeirah Road, Palm Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Islands before returning to Expo 2020 Dubai. The entire route takes place entirely on very wide roads, essentially straight, interspersed with large and well-paved roundabouts. The riders may encounter some sand in case of wind during the desert sections.
Final stretch along a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on asphalt.
Stage 7 – Mubadala Stage - Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet (148km):
This is the classic mountain stage of the UAE Tour. The first part of the stage follows the usual route around Al Ain, passing many of its well-known sights (Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili, Al Ain Oasis) before returning after a long desert loop to Green Mubazzarah where the closing 10km climb up Jebel Hafeet is the final ‘judge’ of the race.
A final climb which winds along wide hairpin bends on a 3-lane roadway. Gradients are mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% 3km from the finish. There is a very short descent in the last km before the last ramp (all on asphalt).
THE OFFICIAL LEADER JERSEYS:
General Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification by time.
Points Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.
Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider (U25) in the overall classification by time.
Intermediate Sprint Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the rider who has gained more Intermediate Sprint Points than any other rider.
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