Everything you need to know about the fifth edition of the race in the Middle East
UAE Tour 2023:
Date: Monday February 20, 2023 - Sunday February 26, 2023
Start: Abu Dhabi
Finish: Abu Dhabi
Total distance: 1028.2km
Defending champion: Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
The only UCI WorldTour race in the Middle East, the UAE Tour began in 2019 after the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Dubai Tour merged. Now in its fifth edition, the seven-stage race attracts some of the most illustrious riders in the peloton, aiming for stage wins and for the very best, a chance at the red jersey.
Having been the opening race for the men’s WorldTour season over the past two years, this year the race will be the third pro race in the men’s cycling calendar after the return of the Tour Down Under and Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in Australia.
The first winner of the UAE Tour was Primož Roglič in 2019, followed by Adam Yates in 2020. Tadej Pogačar won the race in 2021 and successfully defended his title the following year in 2022. It has been announced that Pogačar will not be defending his title for a third year running, instead opting to race in Europe. However, current world champion Remco Evenepoel will be returning to the UAE Tour for a second time after having raced in the first edition in 2019, with the ambition of wearing the red jersey. But he will have to battle it with Yates, who will be hoping to secure another title from his previous UAE Tour win in 2020. Sam Bennett from Bora-Hansgrohe and Ewan Caleb from Lotto dstny will also be on the start line.
This year’s route is characterised by the UAE’s wide, flat roads that we all have become accustomed to seeing in this race. Dubai’s highest peak, Jebel Hafeet located in the region of Tawam, has been the main attraction for the grand finale and will again feature in 2023. The climb is 10.8 kilometres in length, with an average gradient of 6.6% and has become the final ‘judge’ of the race in the Middle East.
UAE Tour teams
- AG2R Citroën Team
- Alpecin Deceuninck
- Astana Qazaqstan Team
- EF Education-EasyPost
- Ineos Grenadiers
- Jayco AlUla
- Soudal Quick-Step
- Team DSM
- UAE Team Emirates
- Lotto dstny
- Israel-Premier Tech
- Green Project-Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè
- Tudor Pro Cycling Team
UAE Tour stages
Starting in the desert the first sprint stage begins at the Al Dhafra Castle and takes the peloton to the city of Madinat Zayed before finishing on an 18 km circuit in Al Mirfa. The second stage is a 17.2km team time trial around Khalifa Port. With only two U-bends to contend with and pan-flat roads, the riders can go full gas from start to finish. The only factor which may impede the riders will be the wind, as the route is by the water's edge in the port.
Stage three is one of two mountain stages. Riders will face a 185km route starting in Fujairah at Umbrella Beach. After crossing the desert roads, the race will head straight for Jais Mountain for a summit finish – a 20km climb at a 5% gradient, with a sting in the tail as it rises for the final 2km.
Heading to Dubai, stage four departs from Shindagha and takes the riders through the city before heading into the desert. They then make their way back to Dubai city, arriving at Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Harbour, where they will sprint to the finish line in the last few kilometres. Another sprint stage follows this from Al Marjan Island to Umm Al Quwain – a 182km route defined by the country's flat roads.
Stage six takes the race to Abu Dhabi, starting from Warner Bros World on Yas Island. The 166km route will take the peloton out and back into the city, finishing the race on a 15km-long straight road that leads to the finish line at Abu Dhabi Breakwater.
Continuing its tradition, the final stage of the race will finish on the UAE Tour’s iconic climb – Jebel Hafeet. After riding through the desert once again, the route takes the riders to Green Mubazzarah, where the base of Jebel Hafeet sits. A 10.8km climb comes between the riders and the finish line. Hairpin bends and 9% gradients with a short descent before a final kick-up at the finish line, making for a very exciting close to seven days of racing.
Stage one: 151km, Aldhafra Castle - Al Mirfa
Stage two: 172.km, Khalifa Port time trial
Stage three: 185km, Fujairah - Jebel Jais
Stage four: 174km, Al Shindagha - Dubai Harbour
Stage five: 182km, Al Marjan Island - Umm al Quwain
Stage six: 166km, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi - Abu Dhabi Breakwater
Stage seven: 153km, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium - Jebel Hafeet
Women’s UAE Tour
A brand new race launching this year for the Women’s WorldTour, the Women’s UAE Tour is a four-day stage race from Thursday February 9, 2023 until Sunday February 12, 2023. The women’s peloton has not raced in the Middle East since the 2020 Women’s Dubai Tour. Now following in the men’s footsteps, the race organisers will invite the world’s best cycling teams to race in the country once again.
Women’s UAE Tour teams
- Canyon//SRAM Racing
- Liv Racing TeqFind
- Human Powered Health
- Israel Premier Tech Roland
- Team DSM
- Jayco AlUla
- Team SD Worx
- UAE Team ADQ
- Uno-X Pro Cycling Team
- Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskad
- St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
- Coop-Hitech Products
- Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
- Zaaf Cycling
Women’s UAE Tour stages
The women’s race will take place over four stages, totalling 468km. The route will take the peloton through UAE’s cities and to the mountains. But with three out of the four stages characterised by the country's flat roads, this is a race for the sprinters of the Women’s WorldTour.
Stage one departs from Dubai Port Rashid and takes the peloton on a 109km route through the desert before passing Palm Jumeirah and heading for a sprint finish in Dubai’s harbour. Another sprint stage follows from Al Dhafra Castle to Al Mirfa the following day.
The one and only mountain stage comes on day three, heading to none other than Jebel Hafeet. A trademark of the men’s race, it had to make an appearance during the inaugural Women’s UAE Tour. The 107km route begins at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in the city of Al Ain and winds its way to the bottom, where the women will race up the 10.8km climb.
Unlike the men’s route, the women will finish their race on a sprint stage from Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy to Abu Dhabi Breakwater.
Stage one: 109km, Dubai Port Rashi - Dubai Harbour
Stage two: 133km, Al Dhafra Castle - Al Mirfa
Stage three: 107km, Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium Al Ain - Jebel Hafeet
Stage four: 119km, Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Sports Academy - Abu Dhabi Breakwater
Where to watch the UAE Tour
Daily coverage from both the men’s and women’s UAE Tour will be streamed live on GCN+ for those watching from the UK and Europe. Eurosport will also be covering the race live as well as posting daily highlight videos for those who can’t tune in to watch the full race.