Cycling - UAE Tour
Mega launch: The routes comprising of 1081 km of intense racing, jerseys and sponsors of 2022 UAE Tour cycling were unveiled in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Abu Dhabi: The official route for the fourth edition of UAE Tour cycling, to be held from February 20-26, will feature four sprinters’ stages, two mountain stages best suited to the peloton’s climbers and a 9km long, high-speed individual time trial. The jerseys and sponsors for the opening event of 2022 UCI WorldTour calendar with 1081km of racing were also announced.

The race, which crosses a diverse mix of landscapes, will feature a significant elevation gain of 3500m, almost all of which is concentrated in Stages 4 and 7. This year’s Tour coincides with another significant event for the Emirates - Expo 2020 Dubai - the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region taking place October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 and that will host the start of Stage VI.

Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council said at the launch: “We are pleased to announce the routes, Jerseys and sponsors of the UAE Tour in its fourth edition. Once again, we welcome the world’s elite teams and riders to the launch of global races on the UCI’s agenda, hoping that the UAE Tour will be a gateway to the start of the season.

He added: “The UAE Tour has become a prestigious sport brand among the major events in the world, and has been able to multiply the successes and gains every year, and has contributed to achieving important societal impacts on different groups and generations.

The UAE Tour has become a prestigious sport brand among the major events in the world, and has been able to multiply the successes and gains every year, and has contributed to achieving important societal impacts on different groups and generations

- Aref Al Awani, General Secretary Abu Dhabi Sports Council

Full stage descriptions and sponsors for the 2022 UAE Tour are listed below.

Cycling - UAE Tour
The seven stages will showcase the range of attributes the UAE has on offer, from the rugged hill terrains to the marvel that is Expo 2020. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Stage 1 – Al Ain Water Stage - Madinat Zayed (185km)

A stage taking place entirely in the desert. It’s beginning and finale follow approximately 45km of straight roads. Once in Liwa, the route enters a zone of dunes that make up the bulk of the stage’s elevation. A series of ups and downs will be covered twice to take the riders to Moreeb Dune. After passing Liwa for the second time, the route follows the same way back to Madinat Zayed.

Last km

A perfectly straight city route. It runs along wide, straight avenues with no obstacles whatsoever. Final stretch on asphalt.

Stage 2 – International Holding Company Stage - Hudayriyat Island - Abu Dhabi Breakwater (173km)

A stage around the city of Abu Dhabi. It departs from Hudayriyat Island and heads to Yas Island and then to Al Raha, passing by the Great Mosque. The route returns first through the Al Wathba Camel Track and then Khalifa City to converge again on Yas Marina and head to Saadiyat Island. The riders then take the Corniche to Abu Dhabi Breakwater for a sprint finish.

Last km

The final 5km remains on a wide road with sweeping bends leading to the tarmac finish line.

Stage 3 – G42 Stage presented by Tissot - Ajman ITT (9km)

An individual time trial entirely in Ajman that features a very fast course characterised only by a U-turn about halfway along the route. The road is perfectly flat and wide with wide radius turns.

Last km

Wide turns, wide road, perfect pavement. Asphalt finish line.

Stage 4 – Burjeel Medical City Stage - Fujairah Fort - Jebel Jais (181km)

This is the first of two most likely decisive mountain stages in the UAE Tour. It is divided into two distinctly different parts: the first being an undulating approach to the final mountain through the desert and the second being the last 20km or so of continuous climbing to the finish. Departure is from Fujairah, crossing the desert areas on the edge of the Hajar Mountains towards Ras-al-Khaimah, whose capital city is not crossed by the race, which heads directly towards Jebel Jais Mountain. The stage’s final climb is around 20km in length at an almost constant 5%, with slightly steeper gradients of around 7% in the last 2km.

Last km

A final climb which winds along hairpin bends on a very wide roadway. Gradients remain mainly around 4/5% in the climb’s first part and 5/7% in its second with a peak of 9% 2 km from the finish. Tarmac finishing straight.

Stage 5 - Marjan Stage - Ras al Khaimah Corniche – Al Marjan Island (182km)

The stage starts in Ras-al-Khaimah with a desert departure at the foot of Jebel Jais. It then heads to Umm al Quwain and north across the desert again to almost reach Ras al Khaimah before heading to Marjan Island for the final sprint. The entire route takes place on wide, well-paved and essentially straight roads through the desert where wind and sometimes sand can affect the peloton.

Last km

Final stretch on a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on tarmac.

Expo 2020 will form a stop in the sixth stage of the UAE Tour on February 25. Image Credit: Supplied photo

Stage 6 - Expo 2020 Dubai Stage – Expo 2020 Dubai – Expo 2020 Dubai (180km)

The city stage of Dubai, departing from Expo 2020 Dubai. The first part of the stages takes place in the desert, touching familiar locations: Dubai Sports City, Al Qudra Cycletrack and the Silicon Oasis, until returning to the city at Meydan racecourse. Crossing the city, the riders will then reach Jumeirah Road, Palm Jumeirah and the Jumeirah Islands before returning to Expo 2020 Dubai. The entire route takes place entirely on very wide roads, essentially straight, interspersed with large and well-paved roundabouts. The riders may encounter some sand in case of wind during the desert sections.

Last km

Final stretch along a wide, slightly curved road. Arrival on asphalt.

Stage 7 – Mubadala Stage - Al Jahili Fort - Jebel Hafeet (148km)

This is the classic mountain stage of the UAE Tour. The first part of the stage follows the usual route around Al Ain, passing many of its well-known sights (Al Ain Zoo, Al Qattara, Al Hili, Al Ain Oasis) before returning after a long desert loop to Green Mubazzarah where the closing 10km climb up Jebel Hafeet is the final ‘judge’ of the race.

Last km

A final climb which winds along wide hairpin bends on a 3-lane roadway. Gradients are mostly around 8-9% with a peak of 11% 3km from the finish. There is a very short descent in the last km before the last ramp (all on asphalt).

The Official Leader Jerseys

The official race jerseys will be provided by Italian brand, Alé. The high-tech sportswear line offers functionality and an ergonomic fit for perfect aerodynamics.

Red Jersey

General Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the leader of the General Classification by time.

Sponsor: International Holding Company

Design: Features the iconic Qasr Al Hosn

Green Jersey

Points Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the fastest sprinter, who has obtained the best positions in each stage and intermediate sprints.

Sponsor: Italian Trade Agency (ICE)

Design: Features famous landmarks of Italy: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Rome Colosseum, Venice and Milan Cathedral

White Jersey

Young Rider Classification: worn daily, starting from Stage 2, by the best young rider (U25) in the overall classification by time.

Sponsor: Nakheel

Design: Features the world-famous Palm Jumeirah

Black Jersey

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

Design: Features Abu Dhabi Aviation’s helicopter following the UAE Tour peloton