UAE Tour 2024
The UAE Tour is the youngest stage race on the WorldTour calendar and is the only top-level event held in the Middle East
Updated: 25 February, 2024
UAE Tour stage 7: Lennert Van Eetvelt takes the overall win and the stage win on Jabel Hafeet
Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto Dstny) announced himself on the world stage with a brilliant win on the final stage of UAE Tour, overhauling a 37-second gap on the GC to take his first WorldTour stage race victory.
Jay Vine, the GC leader heading into the stage, struggled mightily on the final climb and dropped out of contention, as did his UAE Team Emirates teammate Brandon McNulty. Ben O'Connor (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale) was the leader on the road after Vine fell out of contention and just missed out on the overall victory, finishing third on the stage and two seconds behind Van Eetvelt when all things were said and done.
Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious) rode a tactically astute climb and finished second on the stage which was good enough to elevate the Basque to the final podium spot ahead of Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal Quick-Step) and Attila Valter (Visma-Lease a Bike).
UAE Tour stage 6: Tim Merlier makes it a hattrick in Abu Dhabi
It was business as usual for Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) who took his third win from four tries on the sprint into Abu Dhabi. Merlier, who has looked the fastest all week even in his only loss, beat Arvid De Kleijn (Tudor Pro Cycling), who has picked up a string of second places this week, and Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) who finished third.
Beyond the sprint, it was also business as usual as the race proceeded without much action until the sprint. The process of getting that group established took a little longer than on the previous days, but it still didn’t take long before five riders – Jonas Rickaert, Henri Uhlig (both Alpecin-Deceuninck), Eddy Finé (Cofidis), Marco Murgano (Corratec-Vini Fantini) and Juan Pedro López (Lidl-Trek) – up the road. They were given a conservative gap of just over a minute and with 12km to go the break was pulled back as the lead-out trains began to get set for the finale.
Things began to heat up heading into the final 4km, as teams began fighting for position on the front of the bunch. Once Merlier burst through the melee and reached full speed he was unmatched, coming through a small gap on the right-hand side of the road to take his third victory of the week.
- UAE Tour stage 6 – Tim Merlier makes it three with sprint win in Abu Dhabi
- No Mark Cavendish but Gleb Syritsa steps up for Astana at UAE Tour
UAE Tour stage 5: Olav Kooij takes the win in a close-run finish
Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease A Bike) finally got the better of Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) at the UAE Tour, edging out the Belgian in a photo finish to win stage 5. Sam Welsford (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished third.
Kooij sprinted from the slipstream of Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan), who had a strong lead-out from Michael Morkov but was unable to take it to the line, with Kooij surging past the Cavendish on his right. Kooij’s next challenges came from Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Sam Welsford (Bora-Hansgrohe) until two-time stage winner Merlier jutted out from further down the pack and out into the open road on the left.
Nevertheless, even with the Belgian coming with a significant turn of speed as he has shown all week, Kooij held on to take a big win as he builds towards his first-ever Grand Tour start this May at the Giro d'Italia.
UAE Tour stage 4: Tim Merlier makes it two for two in Dubai
Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) won his second sprint in the second opportunity for the sprinters into Dubai on stage 4. The Belgian beat Arvid de Kleijn (Tudor Pro Cycling) and Olav Kooij (Visma-Lease a Bike) in the sprint to the line.
A crash in the final 3km saw a handful of riders go down in the middle of the bunch, including most of the Bora-Hansgrohe train which dashed Sam Welsford's chances in the final. Nevertheless, most of the sprinters and their lead-outs made it safely to the finish.
With 750 metres to go, Merlier began to surf the wheels of the sprinters and lead-out trains who were quick to launch. Merlier remained patient, found Kooij's wheel and then launched a perfectly time move from his wheel to take the win ahead of the Visma-Lease a Bike sprinter.
- UAE Tour stage 4: Tim Merlier doubles up with sprint victory in Dubai
- Tim Merlier and Van Lerberghe continue to thrive at UAE Tour
UAE Tour stage 3: Ben O'Connor wins atop Jebel Jais
Ben O'Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) finished off a perfect team attack on the top of Jebel Jais to take the win on stage 4. Jay Vine (UAE Team Emirates) moved into the overall lead, taking the jersey from his teammate Brandon McNulty.
On the long but shallow climb up to the tallest mountain in the UAE, O'Connor powered away from the peloton after a flawless team attack spurred on by his teammate Valentin Paret-Peintre with just over a kilometre left to race. That lead-out gave O'Connor the separation needed before he accelerated solo in the last 800 metres, taking a five-second gap to the finish ahead of Vine who managed to steal a march on the rest of the leading group of GC favourites.
Even with Vine moving into the GC lead, the day was tough for UAE Team Emirates, as the out-and-out race favourite Adam Yates crashed out of the race with a concussion sustained near the base of the 19km final climb. Yates was on form following a strong performance at the Tour of Oman and was expected to excel on the stage up Jabel Hafeet, a climb he has won on in the past.
- UAE Tour stage 3: Ben O'Connor wins atop Jebel Jais
- When plans come to fruition: Ben O'Connor hits the jackpot at UAE Tour
- UAE Tour: Adam Yates 'doesn't remember hitting the ground' after crash and concussion
UAE Tour stage 2: Brandon McNulty cruises to first WorldTour time trial victory
Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) won the time trial on stage 2 of the UAE Tour, powering to a time of 13:27 over the pan-flat 12.1km course. It was an excellent day all around for the 'home team' UAE Team Emirates with McNulty's teammates Jay Vine and Mikkel Bjerg finishing second and third.
Beyond the UAE riders at the top of the standings, Tobias Foss (Ineos Grenadiers) powered his 68-tooth chain ring to a fourth-place finish, 16 seconds back in fourth place. Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal Quick-Step), Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), Ben O’Connor (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) were also big winners, all finishing in the top 15 and within 30 seconds of McNulty.
- UAE Tour stage 2: Brandon McNulty wins time trial as UAE Team Emirates go 1-2-3
- Tobias Foss will use a monster 68-tooth chainring for UAE Tour time trial
UAE Tour stage 1: Tim Merlier claims the win in a crash-marred final
Tim Merlier (Soudal Quick-Step) sprinted to victory on the opening stage of the UAE Tour ahead of Arvid De Kleijn (Tudor Pro Cycling) and Jakub Mareczko (Corratec-Vini Fantini) in a chaotic bunch sprint that saw a huge crash in the home straight.
With most of the peloton held up behind the crash, it was ultimately a smaller-than-expected bunch of sprinters fighting for the final victory. Nevertheless, Merlier seemed head-and-shoulders above the rest, taking advantage of a mistimed sprint by Fernando Gaviria (Movistar) to devastating effect. With all the major sprinters bar Jasper Phillipsen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) in attendance in the UAE, the win is huge for the Belgian moving forward.
- UAE Tour stage 1: Tim Merlier wins amid huge crash in home straight
- Mark Cavendish says Astana lead-out 'over-eager but learning' after first UAE Tour sprint
- Sam Welsford suffering from crash on eve of UAE Tour, but still well in the fight
UAE Tour 2024 overview
Although the youngest event on the calendar, the men's UAE Tour has quickly become a go-to early-season WorldTour stage race for sprinters and climbers alike. The one-week race, which begins on Monday 19 February, was born from the ashes of two other Middle Eastern races - the Abu Dhabi Tour and the Dubai Tour - and typically combines pan-flat sprint stages with drawn-out summit finishes.
For many riders, the UAE Tour serves as their season opener and the ideal place to build form ahead of the spring Classics and early European stage races. Crosswinds, large bunch finishes and leg-sapping summit finishes are just some of the challenges to overcome in the hot and dry conditions of the United Arab Emirates.
UAE Tour 2024 latest news
- UAE Tour routes revealed: Jebel Hafeet headlines men's and women's races
- UAE Tour: Tudor receive wildcard, Adam Yates and Luke Plapp headline start list
- Luke Plapp: Last year I wasn’t given the chance to be a leader enough
UAE Tour 2024 key information
When is the UAE Tour 2024? The 2024 edition of the UAE Tour will start on Monday, 19 February and run until Sunday, 25 February.
Where does the UAE Tour 2024 take place? The race takes place in the United Arab Emirates, predominantly in the northeastern part of the country around Abu Dhabi and the climbs of Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet.
When did the UAE Tour start? The UAE Tour started in 2019 and there have been five editions of the race so far.
Who won the first UAE Tour? The first edition of the UAE Tour was won by Primož Roglič in 2019.
Who has the most wins at the UAE Tour? Tadej Pogačar leads the honours list with two victories, winning the race in 2021 and 2022.
UAE Tour 2024 route
The route for the 2024 UAE Tour was announced a month before the race, with the start and finish taking place in Adu Dhabi. As was to be expected, the summit finishes of Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet will likely decide the general classification.
Which teams are racing the UAE Tour 2024?
As a WorldTour stage race, the UAE Tour will welcome all 18 top-tier teams to the Middle East. They will be joined by four, as of yet confirmed, ProTeam squads who are handed wildcard invitations to the race.
- Arkéa-B&B Hotels
- Astana Qazaqstan
- Bahrain Victorious
- Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale
- EF Education-EasyPost
- Ineos Grenadiers
- Movistar Team
- Soudal Quick-Step
- dsm-firmenich PostNL
- Jayco AlUla
- Visma-Lease a Bike
- UAE Team Emirates
- Lotto Dstny
- Tudor Pro Cycling
- Corratec-Vini Fantini
What happened at the UAE Tour 2023?
The fifth edition of the UAE Tour saw Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) add his name to the honours list despite not winning an individual stage. The Belgian’s teammate Tim Merlier took the leader’s jersey on an opening day that saw crosswinds repeatedly decimate the peloton. Soudal-Quick Step made it back-to-back stage victories by narrowly winning the team time trial on stage 2 before Evenepoel moved into the race lead on stage three. Einer Rubio (Movistar) attacked 10km from the summit of Jebel Jais as the rest of the GC contenders marked each other’s cards. Evenepoel was second on the stage though and bonus seconds handed him a seven-second lead over Luke Plapp (Ineos Grenadiers).
Sebastián Molano, Dylan Groenewegen and Tim Merlier took stage wins on the following three sprint stages before the GC battle concluded on stage 7 atop Jebel Hafeet. Just Evenepoel and Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) - who was out of the GC battle after struggling in the opening day crosswinds - remained with 4km of the climb to go. It was Yates who had the fresher legs and was able to take the stage but it didn’t stop Evenepoel from claiming the overall title by 59 seconds.
UAE Tour history
The UAE Tour is the youngest race on the WorldTour calendar, launching in 2019 after the merger of the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour - the two races had been running since 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The first two editions of the UAE Tour featured several of the same climbs that the previous two races encompassed, including the incredibly steep Hatta Dam climb which has sections over 19%. While this super steep climb no longer features, both the Jebel Jais and Jebel Hafeet climbs remain and serve as the decisive tests in the GC battle.
The inaugural edition of the race was won by Primož Roglič, with the Jumbo-Visma man holding the leader's jersey from start to finish of the one-week race.
The 2020 edition of the UAE Tour saw stages six and seven cancelled after two staff members from the same team tested positive for coronavirus. Results were taken from the end of stage five, with Adam Yates claiming the overall title by 1:01.
Since that edition, UAE Team Emirates have dominated by and large, with Pogačar winning the overall in 2021 and 2022, before Adam Yates won the Queen stage atop Jebel Hafeet in 2023. Yates would be denied the overall title, however, by Soudal Quick-Step's Remco Evenepoel.
UAE Tour previous winners
2023 Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step)
2022 Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
2021 Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates)
2020 Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)
2019 Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma)
Explore more about the UAE Tour by clicking on the tabs above.
15 conclusions from the UAE Tour
2Voices of the peloton: How the UAE Tour was won and lost
3'The focus is on a Jebel Hafeet result and UAE Tour GC will follow' says Max Poole
4Jay Vine: 'If I keep Brandon McNulty's wheel, I should win the UAE Tour'
5No Mark Cavendish but Gleb Syritsa steps up for Astana at UAE Tour
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