The UAE Tour have announced the second edition of the Middle Eastern race will include a women’s event.
Set to be contested over four stages, the news was announced by UAE Cycling Union President Osama Al Shafar at the press conference for the 2020 race.
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The race will be called the Dubai Women’s Tour, and RCS Sport, who organise the men’s race as well as other major races such as the Giro d’Italia, are apparently not involved with the organisation of the event.
The dates for the seven-stage men’s race are 23-29 February, the third WorldTour event of the 2020 season, and the first of only two to be held in Asia, the latter being the Chinese Tour of Guangxi that ends the calendar.
Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič won the inaugural 2019 edition of the race, beating Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) by 31 seconds. The Slovenian amassed an unassailable lead on the opening stage one team time trial before a second-place finish on stage four and stage six victory sealed the first of many overall wins the 29-year-old achieved in 2019.
Alongside the announcement of the 2020 Tour de France last week, the seventh edition of the women’s La Course was unveiled, with the race returning to the Champs-Élysées, where the first two editions were held.
Newly-crowned world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) has aired her disappointment with the 2020 edition, calling it “a step back” after three years of varied racing.
“It is now nothing more than a criterium. While it is still known as a WorldTour competition, but for the men, criteriums are not included in the WorldTour,” Van Vleuten told Dutch broadcaster NOS.
The event will be held on the same day as the men’s peloton will finish the Tour de France.