UAE Tour updates route for 2020

The new-look route features wind-blown, flat stretches of road, and climbs exceeding 18 percent.

Photo: Getty Images

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The 2020 UAE Tour has made modifications to the route to ensure a varied and balanced character to the seven-stage event. The UAE Tour is the only WorldTour race in the Middle East.

Sprint stages should see Mark Cavendish (Bahrain-McLaren), Dylan Groenewegen (Jumobo-Visma), Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ), and Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) vying for wins, while the steep ramps on climbing stages should favor Tadej Pogačar (Jumbo-Visma), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), Chris Froome (INEOS), and Wout Poels (Bahrain-Merida) for separating themselves from the main group.

Pogačar is just coming off of the overall win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, where Groenewegen took two sprint stages. The UAE Tour will be the 2020 season debut for Chris Froome, after an eight-month hiatus from racing to recover from injuries sustained in early 2019.

Stage 1 The Pointe – Dubai Silicon Oasis (148km)
A mainly desert stage with some sections in the city of Dubai, the route heads towards the Al Qudra area, followed by a desert section before returning to town shortly ahead of the finish. It’s ridden on wide, well-paved roads, with the potential for sand in windy conditions.

Stage 2 Hatta – Hatta Dam (168km)
The stage starts crosses the Hajar Mountains and the surrounding desert on wide, straight roads with continuous undulations. The final stretch navigates two, short climbs with slopes around 10 percent. The final climb, up Hatta Dam, reaches 17 percent.

Stage 3 Al Qudra Cycle Track – Jebel Hafeet (184km)
The third day of racing connects Dubai with Abu Dhabi. The route includes some sections in common with stage 5. The final, 10km ascent of Jebel Hafeet, offers a slope of around eight to nine percent, peaking at 11 percent, 3km from the finish.

Stage 4 Zabeel Park – Dubai City Walk (173km)
The popular walkway through Dubai’s streets now also becomes a racing route. This stage will be one for the sprinters.

Stage 5 Al Ain – Jebel Hafeet (162km)
The UAE Tour’s mountain stage, which had been regularly scheduled on the former Abu Dhabi Tour. Like stage 3, the final climb ascends Jebel Hafeet.

Stage 6 Al Ruwais – Al Mirfa (158km)
The desert stage travels the entire E11 road that runs between the sea, and the edge of the desert. The first part of the route is straight, for almost 60km, before entering the final 18.9km circuit of Al Mirfa, which will be completed three times.

Stage 7 Al Maryah Island – Abu Dhabi Breakwater (127km)
The final stage, around the city of Abu Dhabi, follows a classic route from the Abu Dhabi Tour. After departing Al Maryah Island, the race passes the Great Mosque, and returns through Khalifa City. The route takes in Saadiyat Island, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Corniche before arriving in Abu Dhabi Breakwater for a sprint finish.

The 2020 UAE Tour kicks off on February 23rd and continues through February 29th.

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