Stage set for historic women’s World Tour race in Middle East - GulfToday

Stage set for historic women’s World Tour race in Middle East

UAE Team ADQ are confident of making their mark in the first ever UCI Women’s World Tour race in the Middle East.

UAE Team ADQ are confident of making their mark in the first ever UCI Women’s World Tour race in the Middle East.

Abu Dhabi Sports Council are pleased to announce the provisional entry list for the first-ever edition of the UAE Tour Women, beginning from Thursday.

Many of the world’s best riders will come to the UAE to ride the four stages of the inaugural edition of the UAE Tour Women, starting in Dubai and finishing in Abu Dhabi.

The fast wheels of the peloton will have three stages (1,2 and 4) to fight for the win and claim the Green Jersey, while the climbers will target Stage 3 and the 10km long mighty ascent of Jebel Hafeet to try and cross the line first, topping the GC and wear the Red Jersey. With just a few days to go, here at the some riders who are expected to shine at the UAE Tour Women.

Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Suez) arrives to the UAE Tour Women after some great results in 2022, including the second place in the Giro d’Italia Donne and the triumphs at Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne. Cavalli’s team also includes Grace Brown in their ranks, the Australian was runner up at the 2022 Women’s Tour, at the World Championships ITT and at Liege-Bastogne-Liege Femmes (both in 2022 and 2020). This year she won the Santos Tour Down Under.

“First of all, I’d like to thank everyone for the warm welcome we have received in the UAE. Looking ahead to the race, I am particularly targeting stage three but at the same time it will also be good experience for me to practice riding in crosswinds. My team-mates will try and protect me as much as possible over the four stages and we also want to be competitive in the sprints,” said Cavalli.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) amassed an impressive 35 victories since the start of her career, including bronze medals in the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Road Race.

Most recently she claimed a GC win at the Women’s Tour in Great Britain, only two months after winning the Paris-Roubaix Femmes in 2022. She has claimed victory in both the Strade Bianche Donne (2017) and Tour of Flanders (2015) alongside holding nine National Championship jerseys in her locker.  

Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) secured an extraordinary total of 22 victories in 2022, including two stages at the Tour de France Femmes and claiming the top podium spot in the GC at the Simac Ladies Tour, at the RideLondon Classique and at the European Road title.  The Flying Dutchwoman will certainly be one of the protagonists for the flat and fast stages of the UAE Tour Women.

“My team are here to target the sprints and we’re expecting some really good battles. I hope that we set up a good lead-out train and we’re aiming for as many stage victories as possible. I’m really happy to be here and we’re looking forward to a good experience,” she said.

Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) is not short on experience in the peloton, beginning her career in 2006, and taking 42 professional wins, including the World Championships Road Race in 2007 and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) in 2019. Bastianelli is no doubt a rider to watch at the UAE Tour Women this year, alongside her teammate Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ).

“We are a fully professional unit and we have arrived well prepared, and want to do our best to challenge for the title,” the former world champion said at the pre-race conference at the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club on Hudayriat Island on Wednesday.

“It’s very important for us to be here and represent the host nation in this inaugural race for women. We have a strong team (of six riders) and we believe in ourselves. Of course, we will face strong challenges, but we are ready for it.”

The 25-year-old Italian took third place bronze medal at the 2022 Road World championships and top 10’s in the general classification at the 2022 Tour de France Femmes and Giro d’Italia Donne, respectively.

The provisional entry lists also includes experienced riders such as the 2022 Belgian road race champion Kim De Baat (Fenix-Deceuninck), and two-time stage winner of the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile and winner of the 2013 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad WE Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//SRAM Racing).

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