UAE Tour 2024
The Women's WorldTour race continues with a trip to the Middle East and the second edition of this four-day tour
Updated: 12 February, 2024
© Dario Belingheri / Velo Collection via Getty Images
Amber Kraak on the podium as winner of stage 4 of the UAE Tour Women
On a day that should have been another sprint finish, there was an upset on the final day of the UAE Tour Women as Amber Kraak (FDJ-SUEZ) survived from the early breakaway all the way to the line to take the win. Leaving their chase late, SD Worx-Protime didn't bring back the leaders in time, allowing Kraak to go on a solo assault and hang on to the finish just metres ahead of a charging Lorena Wiebes.
With no time gaps on the line, overnight leader and stage 3 winner Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime) finished in the bunch to secure her overall title, winning her first race of the year as she heads into a full Classics campaign.
© Dario Belingheri/Velo Collection via Getty Images
Lotte Kopecky made a big statement on Jebel Hafeet
SD Worx-Protime are not letting up at the UAE Tour, as Lotte Kopecky was the latest to win a stage for the team in this year's race. After helping Lorena Wiebes to her two victories in the preceding days, it was Kopecky's time to shine on Jebel Hafeet. The world champion beat Canyon-SRAM's Neve Bradbury in a two-up sprint to the summit.
© Dario Belingheri/Velo Collection via Getty Images
Lorena Wiebes hugs her teammate after winning stage 2
For the second time in as many days, SD Worx-Protime stood victorious in the United Arab Emirates, with star sprinter Lorena Wiebes showing the rest of the field a fresh pair of heels on stage 2. The Dutchwoman beat Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Clara Copponi (Lidl-Trek) into second and third, respectively.
© Sprint Cycling Agency
Lorena Wiebes had quite the backdrop for her first win of the 2024 campaign
It may have been only the first day of Lorena Wiebes' season for SD Worx-Protime, but you wouldn't have known from the end of stage 1 of the 2024 UAE Tour. Teammate and world champion Lotte Kopecky delivered a pitch-perfect lead-out for Wiebes, who sprinted to victory ahead of Rachele Barbieri (dsm-firmenich PostNL) and Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ).
UAE Tour Women 2024 Overview
First raced in 2023, the four-day UAE Tour was a brand-new addition to the Women’s WorldTour calendar and the first-ever top-level women’s stage race to take place in the Middle East. After the success of the inaugural race, the second edition will begin in Dubai Miracle Garden on 8 February, before coming to its conclusion by Abu Dhabi Breakwater on 11 February.
The defending champion, Elisa Longo Borghini, will lead the line for a strong Lidl-Trek side that also includes second place from last year, Gaia Realini. The Italian pair won’t have things all their way, however, with a strong rank of teams lining up at this year’s race, including Liv AlUla Jayco with Mavi García, SD Worx-Protime with Lotte Kopecky and Canyon-SRAM with Ricarda Bauernfeind.
Taking place a week before the men’s race, the women’s race will be given the full spotlight as big names from across the globe descend on the UAE to start their seasons. Included amongst those will, of course, be UAE Team ADQ, who will be hoping to take their first victory in their home race.
Between Dubai Miracle Garden and Abu Dhabi Breakwater lies a similar test to last year, with three stages suited to the sprinters and one mountain stage, on day three, which will almost certainly decide the general classification. The centrepiece of the race is a summit finish atop the well-known Jebel Hafeet on stage 3, where Lidl-Trek will hope to replicate their one-two finish from last season.
The key protagonists for the 2024 UAE Tour Women
UAE Tour Women 2024 key information
When is the women’s UAE Tour 2024?: The 2024 race begins on Thursday 8 February and finishes four days later on Sunday February 11.
Where does the women’s UAE Tour 2024 take place?: The race takes place in the United Arab Emirates, beginning in Dubai before finishing in Abu Dhabi.
Who won the women’s UAE Tour in 2023?: In the inaugural edition of the UAE Tour, Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo sealed the overall title with the team’s demolition job on Jebel Hafeet. The Italian rode to a 1-2 victory alongside teammate Gaia Realini, which was enough to seal the pair the top two placings in the general classification.
When did the women’s UAE Tour start?: The women’s race was launched in 2023, to stand alongside the men’s race as the flagship UCI stage race in the Middle East. The race is a 2.WWT event.
Who has the most wins at the women’s UAE Tour?: Elisa Longo Borghini of Lidl-Trek has one general classification victory to her name, but in terms of stage wins, Charlotte Kool has the most. The dsm-firmenich PostNL sprinter won the first and final stages of last year’s race, whilst Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx-Protime) claimed one victory and Longo Borghini came up trumps on the race’s only summit finish.
UAE Tour Women 2024 route: three sprinter hit-outs and one mighty finish atop Jebel Hafeet
Much like the inaugural edition, the route of the 2024 UAE Tour will consist of four stages, split into three days for the sprinters and one summit finish atop Jebel Hafeet to decide the general classification. The first leader’s jersey of the race will fall to a sprinter, that much is all but certain, with a wide finishing straight welcoming the riders to Dubai Harbour after a flat 122km day in the saddle.
For those unsuccessful on the opening day, stage 2 may offer a reprieve, but the sprinters’ teams will have to be on the lookout for crosswinds as the peloton skirts through the Arabian Desert. From the lowlands to the highlands, the overall victory will be decided on stage 3, with the 128km route leaving Al Ain Police Museum and heading to the summit of Jebel Hafeet in the Al Hajar Mountains.
This is where Trek-Segafredo stamped their authority on the race last season and once more, we can expect to see a showdown between the race’s best climbers this time around. Unlike the men’s race, the women’s UAE Tour will not end in the mountains, instead the organisers have decided to offer the sprinters one final chance on stage 4, with a flat stage bringing the second edition to a close by Abu Dhabi Breakwater.
Stage 1: Dubai Miracle Garden → Dubai Harbour (122km)
Stage 2: Al Mirfa Bab Al Nojoum → Madinat Zayed (113km)
Stage 3: Al Ain Police Museum → Jebel Hafeet (128km)
Stage 4: Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum → Abu Dhabi Breakwater (105km)
UAE Tour Women 2024 contenders
There are two races in one in some ways at the UAE Tour. There is the battle for the overall classification which, barring crosswinds or the unexpected, should be decided on the stage 3 finish on Jebel Hafeet, but there will also be the battle for stage wins amongst the sprinters.
For the latter, on stages 1, 2 and 4, two-time stage winner from last year Charlotte Kool is out of the race with sickness, which opens up the possibility of a Lorena Wiebes whitewash, with the SD Worx-Protime the undisputed best sprinter in the race.
In terms of the fight for the overall on stage 3, Lidl-Trek will have high hopes of replicating their success from last year, with the pre-eminent Italians Elisa Longo Borghini and Gaia Realini. They will come under pressure from Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx-Protime), who may fancy a move in the crosswinds to put the cat amongst the pigeons. Elsewhere, expect the likes of Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon-SRAM), Mavi García (Liv AlUla Jayco) and Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) to be strong.
Which teams are racing the UAE Tour Women 2024?
The 2024 women’s UAE Tour has attracted 13 WorldTour sides to the start in Dubai, including the likes of Lidl-Trek, SD Worx-Protime and the home outfit, UAE Team ADQ. Alongside the world’s best teams, there will be seven women’s Continental sides, including Asian outfit Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team, and the latest big-name team in women’s cycling, EF Education-Cannondale.
- Human Powered Health
- Liv AlUla Jayco
- Dsm-firmenich PostNL
- SD Worx-Protime
- UAE Team ADQ
- Uno-X Mobility
- EF Education-Cannondale
- Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi
- St Michel-Mavic-Auber93
- Tashkent City Women Professional Cycling Team
- Team Coop-Repsol
- Top Girls Fasso Bortolo
What happened at the UAE Tour Women 2023?
At last year’s inaugural edition, Charlotte Kool emerged victorious in the sprints on stages 1 and 4, whilst Lorena Wiebes enjoyed her moment in the sun on stage 2. It was a hotly-anticipated battle between the pair and they did not disappoint. The overall title, meanwhile, was decided on Jebel Hafeet, atop which Elisa Longo Borghini stood victorious with the stage 3 victory and a lead that couldn’t be overturned.
UAE Tour Women race history
While the UAE Tour may be the first and only Women’s WorldTour race to take place in the Middle East, it’s not the first women’s race to take place in the region. Just a few years ago, in 2020, the Dubai Women’s Tour held its first and only edition. That was a four-day stage race too and featured a stage finish on the infamously steep slopes of Hatta Dam. Great Britain’s Lucy van der Haar came out on top before retiring at the end of the season.
The UAE Tour is not necessarily a revived version of the Dubai Women’s Tour, but is the same length at four days long and shares a common history with the men’s UAE Tour, which itself was preceded by the likes of the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour. This new women’s WorldTour race is organised by RCS Sport, the same organisers who put on the men’s race, and thus tends to feature a similar route.
1Marianne Vos, Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Balsamo start seasons at Setmana Valenciana
2Is there space for both Lotte Kopecky and Demi Vollering at SD Worx-Protime?
3UAE Tour Women: Lotte Kopecky takes summit sprint on Jebel Hafeet to win stage 3
4UAE Tour Women: Lorena Wiebes doubles up with stage 2 sprint win
5SD Worx-Protime: We want to keep Demi Vollering but not for a blank cheque
29 Jun - 21 Jul
Tour de France
12 Aug - 18 Aug
Tour de France Femmes
4 May - 26 May
19 Feb - 25 Feb
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Provided by FirstCycling