Noura Al Jasmi
Noura Al Jasmi Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The face of women’s cycling is headed for a total transformation with the scheduled organisation of the first-ever Dubai Women’s Tour at the end of the year.

A part of the UCI’s Asia Tour, the inaugural edition of the four-stage cycling race was confirmed by Noura Al Jasmi, Board Member and Member of the Higher Organising Committee of the Dubai Women’s Tour that is scheduled to be held from December 11-14.

“Everything is slowly falling in place for the first-ever tour for women in the region and we are more excited as our national team cyclists will get an experience of a lifetime competing against the best from across the globe,” Al Jasmi told Gulf News on the sidelines of the NAS Ramadan Sports Tournament, late on Saturday.

To be held over four days, the first stage called the ‘Burj Al Arab Stage’ (90km), followed by the Burj Khalifa Stage (93km), the Dubai Frame Stage (110km) and the Dubai Expo 2020 Stage (115km) for a total distance of 408km in and around the emirate.

Joining the UAE national team will be top international invited sides such as Astana, Canyon-Sram Racing (Germany), Team Tibco-SVB (US), Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling (Switzerland), Doltcini-Van Eyck Sport (Belgium), China Liv Pro Cycling (China), Moviestar Women (Netherlands), Parkhotel Valkenburg (Spain) and FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine (France), among others.

“This tour is a historical event and we didn’t want to leave anything to chance, and that’s the reason why we have deliberately invited some of the best teams from around the world for our inaugural competition,” Al Jasmi said.

“Our final aim is the development of our young national squad, who will eventually be in a position to compete at the highest level.”

To be held under the patronage of Shaikha Hind Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, the UCI-sanctioned event will see riders compete for the overall leader’s jersey (yellow), the best sprinter jersey (green), the best climber jersey (polka dot) and the young leader jersey (white).

“Under the wise leadership of our president Osama Al Shafar we have made enough progress to not only organise a race of this stature but also ensure we have a strong participation. We have a pool of eight cyclists at the moment and the final six to make up the UAE squad will be announced shortly,” Al Jasmi added.

“Everyone from the federation and the cycling fraternity is excited to have such a high-level event in Dubai in the near future. I am convinced that this tour will have a far bigger impact on women’s cycling, not just in the UAE but in the Gulf and Arab regions as well.”