UAE Tour to put on 'world class spectacle' after revealing route and jerseys for 2020 race
Alejandro Valverde, Rohan Dennis, and Tadej Pogacar among the riders confirmed for the seven-stage race
The route and jerseys of the UAE Tour’s second edition were officially unveiled at the Sharjah Academy for Astronomy, Space Sciences and Technology on Monday.
The seven stages will cover all seven Emirates with the start of the race in Dubai on February 23 and the conclusion in Abu Dhabi on February 28.
The 2020 Tour covers a total distance of 1,177km with a significant elevation gain of around 3,500 metres, mostly concentrated into stages two, three and five.
Among the early confirmations are Alejandro Valverde, last year’s UAE Tour runner-up and the 2018 UCI Road World Champion.
Rohan Dennis, the two-time UCI Time Trial World Champion and stage winner at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Tour, and Giulio Ciccone, the 2019 Giro d’Italia Maglia Azzurra (King of the Mountain) will also compete.
So, too UAE Team Emirates' young Slovenian star Tadej Pogacar, winner of the 2019 Tour of California and third overall at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, and a host of other renowned riders from around the world.
The UAE Tour will begin from Zabeel Park in Dubai, the Marjan Island Stage (158km), which will be a flat opening stage to end in Al Marjan Island.
The second stage, the Dubai Municipality Stage, is the longest stage of the UAE Tour at 203km.
The following day, the peloton will start the third stage, the Sharjah Stage (198km), racing from Sharjah to Rafisah Dam with the Rafisah Dam to be climbed twice before the final ascent.
The fourth stage, the Dubai Stage, covers 171km between Dubai Design District and Dubai City Walk.
On the fifth stage, the peloton will start the Al Ain Stage (162km) from Al Ain before facing the Jebel Hafeet climb: with the finish at 1,025m after a 10.8km climb with a maximum gradient of 10 per cent and average slope of 5.4 per cent.
February 28 will host the penultimate stage, the ADNOC Stage (158km), starts from Al Ruwais and ends in Al Mirfa, where a bunch sprint is expected.
The Grand Finale delivers a spectacular parade entirely in the city of Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Stage (127km) starts at Al Maryah Island and finishes at the Abu Dhabi Breakwater with what is expected to be another bunch sprint.
“This year's route of the UAE Tour will challenge every kind of rider and will crown the most complete rider who proves to be the strongest in the seven stages raced across all seven Emirates,” Saeed Hareb, secretary general of Dubai Sports Council, said at the launch ceremony.
Aref Al Awani, general secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “The UAE Tour is the result of years of effort, passion and commitment from many people. As the world is watching, we are poised to deliver another world-class sporting spectacle.”
Eisa Hilal Al Hezami, general secretary of Sharjah Sports Council, said he was delighted to see Sharjah featured in another stage and is expecting the emirate the put on a show.
“This year we will have one more stage that will be raced in the Emirate of Sharjah, compared to last year's edition," he said. "Stages 2 and 3 will probably be very important for the General Classification of this second edition of the UAE Tour. I’m sure that the Sharjah Stage, and the entire UAE Tour, will produce many true sporting spectacles."
Updated: January 20, 2020 06:08 PM