The official route, jerseys and sponsors for the 3rd edition of the UAE Tour have been announced. The UAE Tour race organisers, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Dubai Sports Council and RCS Sport are pleased to confirm that this year’s edition of the race will feature four sprinters’ stages, two stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 13km long, high-speed individual time trial.
The one and only WorldTour race in the Middle East, the UAE Tour, will take place from 21st to 27th February and cover a total of 1045km, with a significant elevation gain of around 3500m metres, mostly concentrated into Stages 3 and 5. The route will cross five of the seven independent city-states that form the United Arab Emirates, with Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Umm al-Quwain, Fujairah and Ras al-Khaimah all playing host to the race.
Stage 1 (177km), will begin in the town of Al Ruwais, then make its way through the Abu Dhabi region before reaching the coastal city of Al Mirfa where an exciting bunch sprint finish is expected. The following day, the riders will compete over a short and fast-paced individual time trial on Stage 2 (13km) that starts and finishes on the beautiful Al Hudyriat Island. Though brief, the time trial will no doubt provide an opportunity for early time gains in the closely-fought General Classification.Stage 3 (162KM) remains in Abu Dhabi and begins from the headquarters of Strata Manufacturing, located in Al Ain international airport, before tackling Jebel Hafeet to finish - a 10km long ascent that peaks over 1000m above sea level. Cycling fans can expect to witness a battle for the Red Jersey on the mountain pass as the race’s strongest climbers will look to press home their advantage.
Stage 4 (204km) starts and finishes on Al Marjan Island and takes place within Ras al-Khaimah, visiting its neighboring emirate Umm Al-Quwain along the way. The longest day in the saddle by quite some margin, the race’s fourth stage will be best suited to the fast wheels of the peloton thanks to its flat finish. The next day is the tour’s most challenging: Stage 5 (170km) begins in Fujairah city and makes its way north before finishing with the punishing Jebel Jais climb that tops out at 1491m above sea level. The time won and lost on the long and relentless 20km-plus ascent will most likely prove to be decisive in the General Classification.
Stage 6 (168 km) will see the riders race on a mostly flat route from the Deira Islands, Dubai, and finish at the iconic Palm Jumeirah. Around 60km into the route, the peloton will join the Al-Qudra Cycle Track - an 86km long pristine tarmac path that traverses the Dubai desert - before heading back to the city.Stage 7 (147 km) starts at Yas Mall and follows a flat route that takes in the sights of the UAE’s captial , Abu Dhabi, before a final sprint along the city's breakwater - where the winner of the 3rd edition of the UAE Tour will be crowned.
Cycling fans can look forward to watching an exceptionally strong field of riders compete this year, with a series of big names already announced that includes 2020 Tour de France winner Tadej Pogačar, last year’s UAE Tour Red Jersey Adam Yates and multiple Grand Tour victor Chris Froome. ITT World Champion Filippo Ganna and Mathieu van der Poel have also confirmed their attendance, alongside a host of world-class sprinters made up of Tour de France Green Jersey winner Sam Bennett, Caleb Ewan, Pascal Ackermann and Fernando Gaviria among others.
THE OFFICIAL LEADER JERSEYS
The official race jerseys will be provided by Italian brand, Alé. The high-tech sportswear line convinces with its high functionality and ergonomic fit for perfect aerodynamics.
General Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification by time.
Points Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.
Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider born after 1st January 1995 in the overall classification by time (U25), the name to watch out for in the future.
Intermediate Sprint Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the rider who has gained more Intermediate Sprint Points than any other rider.
Sponsor: Abu Dhabi Aviation
OFFICIAL SPONSORS OF THE 2021 UAE TOUR
Alongside the “Top Sponsors” of the four jerseys (ADNOC, Etisalat, Nakheel, Abu Dhabi Aviation) gratitude is expressed to official car sponsor Audi Al Nabooda, official jersey partner Alé, Offical Timekeeper Breitling, and towards these other brands who are supporting the 2021 UAE Tour: Host broadcaster, Abu Dhabi Sports Channel and Dubai Sports, Offical Jersey partner, Ale, Partners, Tadweer and suppliers, Anghami, Shimano, Bianchi, Hansgroe, Al Ain Water and Hertz.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council said: “2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates and the third edition of the UAE Tour. This race is not just the one and only WorldTour event in the Middle East but the result of years of effort, passion and commitment from many people in our country. As the world is watching, we are poised to deliver another world-class sporting spectacle which will contribute to the development of cycling across the Emirates while promoting our unique territory.”
H.E. Saeed Hareb, Secretary General Dubai Sports Council said: ““First, we would like to welcome our new partners and show our appreciation of the old for continuing their association with this prestigious sporting event, which is the only UCI WorldTour race in the Middle East.
“The UAE Tour is the perfect vehicle to showcase the blessed and diverse landscape of our country around the globe, as well as the vision of our leadership, which has turned UAE into one of the world’s standout nations in a very short span of time.
“Hosting the UAE Tour this year, in these challenging times, with all 19 UCI World Teams taking part, is a testimony to our success as a nation in the fight against COVID-19, and a vote of confidence in UAE’s ability to host top international sporting events in a completely safe environ.
“The health and safety of our guests – the riders, team and race officials, as well as fans – is our top priority, and the routes and stages for 2021 UAE Tour have been decided with those concerns in mind. At the same time, the new routes will showcase different regions of the country to the world, and I am confident the riders will enjoy every aspect of this brand new edition of UAE Tour.”
Yaser Saeed Al Mazrouei, Upstream Executive Director, ADNOC, “ADNOC is proud to partner with the UAE Tour for the third consecutive year, as both a Stage Sponsor and the Official Sponsor of the prestigious Red Jersey. Our support for this sporting event reflects the importance we place on promoting healthy and active lifestyles and creating a positive and lasting impact on our communities. The tour reinforces the UAE’s ever-growing reputation as a world-class sporting destination and we look forward to what promises to be an exciting race across some of the UAE’s most iconic locations.”
Dr Ahmed bin ALl, Group Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Etisalat said: “As one of the leading telecom groups in emerging markets and ranked the most valuable telecom brand as well as one of the world’s strongest brands, Etisalat’s strategic sponsorship is in line with its endeavor to be at the forefront of major sporting events. Etisalat’s support for one most prestigious competitions in the global sporting calendar also reinforces its deep commitment to initiatives that positively enhance the UAE’s global reputation.”
Aqil Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Nakheel, said: “As one of the most prestigious events in the global sporting calendar, the UAE Tour is a wonderful platform from which to showcase the country’s stunning landmarks and scenery to millions of spectators worldwide. Nakheel is honoured and proud to sponsor the White Jersey – for the third consecutive year – as a reflection of our values and beliefs, which include supporting activities that promote health and wellbeing, and recognising the best in young, upcoming sporting talent. We are also delighted that our some of our most famous, iconic developments will feature in the Dubai Stage of the tour, with day six beginning at Deira Islands, passing through Jumeirah Islands and finishing up at our flagship project, Palm Jumeirah.
We wish the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Sports Councils, RCS Sport and all of the competitors the very best for a safe, successful 2021 UAE Tour.”
His Excellency Mr. Nader Ahmed Al Hammadi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Aviation, said, "We are pleased to participate in the UAE Tour 2021. Abu Dhabi Aviation has set its sights on supporting sports and athletes and has not failed to participate in such events for years." Al Hammadi pointed out that Abu Dhabi is witnessing a quantum leap in international tournaments, stressing that this comes as a translation of the directives of higher leadership.
He added that Abu Dhabi Aviation's participation in the UAE Tour 2021 is in support of sporting activities and events hosted by the capital, cooperating with its development vision of sporting events and activities. Abu Dhabi Aviation is also keen to carry out its corporate social duties by supporting and sponsoring major sporting events that contributes to the progress and advancement of the community.
Abu Dhabi Aviation’s Chairman praised the great role played by the Abu Dhabi Sports Council in hosting the most prominent global sporting events that have great impact in spreading the culture of sport and inspiring individuals, especially young people to practice sports to reach a healthier and happier society. Mr. Al Hammadi added, “the country was able to occupy a prominent place in the world of cycling after the UAE cycling team achieved an unprecedented historic achievement by winning the Tour de France title.”
Through its fleet, capabilities, and expertise, Abu Dhabi Aviation is going to provide two vertical planes for local and international TV channels to depict the entire tour, which is going to also depict UAE’s heritage, historical and touristic landmarks. Abu Dhabi Aviation aircraft will accompany the competitors in all stages of the tour.
It is worth mentioning that Abu Dhabi Aviation owns a huge fleet of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, is the largest operator of helicopters in the Middle East and North Africa and follows a strategy of the presence of its fleet in different regions of the world.”
Tadej Pogačar, who attended the UAE Tour route presentation said: “I’m very pleased to be kicking-off my season at the UAE Tour. We just had our pre-season camp in the UAE and got to do some excellent training, especially on the Jebel Hafeet, which was great. I’m feeling good and motivated to race. After the stage win last year I’m coming back hungry for more. This is a huge event for myself and all the team and we will be here to fight for victories at our home race.”
Fabrizio D’Amico, RCS Sports and Events DMCC Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted to kick-off together with our partners Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Dubai Sports Council the third edition of this unique wonderful race. This occurs in an extremely important historical moment as the UAE is set to celebrate its 50th year anniversary as a united country.
This year route will include an Individual Time Trial which will make the race more challenging and exciting. The race will cross areas of the UAE unseen before providing the unprecedented opportunity to showcase worldwide new beautiful and breathtaking landmarks.”