THE RAINBOW SHINES OVER THE UAE TOUR WOMEN The World Champion Lotte Kopecky is the winner of second edition of the one and only UCI Women’s World Tour race in the Middle East. Bradbury and Garcia complete the GC podium. Big surprise in the final stage as Amber Kraak resisted the comeback of the peloton after a long breakaway
Abu Dhabi Breakwater, 11 February 2024 – The World Champion Lotte Kopecky is the winner of the second edition of the UAE Women Tour, the one and only UCI Women’s WorldTour race in the Middle East, organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The ALDAR Stage, which took the riders from Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi to Abu Dhabi Breakwater, was plenty of surprises. The early move from Amber Wright, Monica Greenwood and Margarita Misyurina, joined a few kilometres later by Amber Kraak, was decisive. The quartet reached a maximum advantage of 3’20” and, after dropping Misyurina with just over 20km to go, managed to enter into the final 10,000 metres with a lead of over a minute on the peloton. With 5 km to go Kraak went solo, and was able to resist the group’s comeback by a few metres on the final straight. The Green Jersey Lorena Wiebes crossed the line in 2nd place ahead of Daria Pikulik. Also celebrating were Neve Bradbury, who finished second in the overall standings 13″ behind Lotte Kopecky and claimed the White Jersey, and Canyon//SRAM Racing, winner of the Teams Classification.
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, gave the Unity Trophy to Lotte Kopecky
H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, H.E. Mr. Mohammed Ghanem Al Qusaili, Representing Agthia, and Mr. Fouad Fahmi Darwish, CEO & Managing Director at Palm Sports, awarded Lotte Kopecky, Neve Bradbury and Mavi Garcia on the podium
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION 1 – Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) 2 – Neve Bradbury (Canyon//Sram Racing) at 13″ 3 – Margarita Victoria Garcia Canellas (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) at 44″
STAGE RESULTS 1 – Amber Kraak (Fdj-Suez), 105km in 2h27’33”, average speed 42.697 km/h 2 – Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) s.t. 3 – Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) s.t.
THE OFFICIAL JERSEYS
The leader jerseys of the UAE Tour Women are provided by ALÉ
Red Jersey, leader of the General Classification, sponsored by Al Ain Water – Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx)
Green Jersey, leader of the Points Classification, sponsored by Tadweer – Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx)
White Jersey, Best Young Rider, sponsored by Burjeel Holdings – Neve Bradbury (Canyon//Sram Racing)
Black Jersey, leader of the Intermediate Sprint Classification, sponsored by ALDAR – Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx)
Speaking immediately after being presented with the Red Jersey, the Black Jersey, and the race winner’s trophy on the podium, Lotte Kopecky said “Coming to the UAE Women Tour, I hoped that I could win but it’s very early in the season and I didn’t know how my opponents were. As for myself, the outcome shows that I’ve worked in the right direction. Racing here is completely different than in Europe. If the wind blows in the right direction, it can make a very interesting racing. Before the race, I went for sky diving for the first time and I enjoyed it too. I didn’t know what to expect when I jumped out of this plane but it was a very nice learning experience. I really wanted to do it. I don’t get easily scared. In a sprint or in a downhill, you can control yourself, but in sky diving, you just have to trust the person you are jumping with”.
The White Jersey was awarded to Neve Bradbury by Dr. Aysha Ali Ahmed Abdulla Al Mahri – Deputy CEO, Burjeel Medical City
Second-placed on the General Classification and White Jersey Neve Bradbury, said: “I knew that if I had very good legs, I could expect to come second in the UAE Tour but I’m over the moon with this result. Today, I just wanted to stay safe in the bunch to preserve my second place overall. It’s been an incredible feeling to come on stage to receive the best young rider jersey and on top of that the UCI Women’s WorldTour leader jersey. It will be nice if I get to wear it in further races this year. Now I think I’m ready to take on the world’s best riders and the Tour de France Femmes is my dream”
Amber Kraak was awarded on the podium by Mrs. Kifah Sbeitan, Vice President – Community Management at ALDAR, H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Hamad Jasem Al Hosani, Acting International and Institutional Affairs Section Head at Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum
Stage 4 winner, Amber Kraak, said: “It’s pretty special to win solo. This is the first race I win with my new team FDJ-Suez. I had to make quite a big effort to jump from the bunch to the lead group with the headwind. But I didn’t want to sit in the bunch for another day waiting for a sprint. Either I’d bridge the gap to the escape or the bunch would bring me back. In any case, I didn’t want a breakaway to develop without us. With more than 1’ lead with 5 or 6km to go, I knew this was possible. From the team car, I was told to sit more aero, that I had chance to win. When I heard my team-mates yelling “go go go” in the last kilometre, then I knew they saw me and it was close. It was really tight indeed. I wouldn’t say this is the beginning of a new career, but it’s definitely a nice start with the new team and there is more to come”.
Maied Atik Al Emery, Representative of Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club, with the Green Jersey Lorena Wiebes
The winner of the Green Jersey Lorena Wiebes said: “The whole team did its best to try and close the gap for a bunch sprint finish today but this time it was not enough. I started my sprint a little bit early than I usually do. I think it was 200 metres if not a little bit before the finishing line. When I saw Amber [Kraak] I thought maybe it’s still possible to catch her. The other teams didn’t help us but that’s normal after we won three stages. Personally, with two stage wins and the points classification, I’m very satisfied. Now it’ll be important to keep the good shape ahead for the classics. And I hope I’ll be back at the UAE Tour next year”.
Mrs. Kifah Sbeitan, Vice President – Community Management at ALDAR, with the Black Jersey Lotte Kopecky
36th career win for Lotte Kopecky, 4 of them are General Classifications: Belgium Tour in 2021; Thuringen Rundfahrt and Simac Tour in 2023; UAE Tour Women this year.
2nd individual international career win for Amber Kraak after La Périgord Ladies last year. She also won the opening team time trial of La Vuelta with Team Jumbo-Visma last year.
Lorena Wiebes took her 6th stage podium out of 8 at the UAE Tour Women. She missed out only atop Jebel Hafeet in both editions. She scored 3 wins, 2 second places and 1 third.
First win for FDJ-Suez at the UAE Tour Women. The French squad became the 4th team with 3 wins this year after AG Insurance, EF Education and SD Worx. FDJ – Suez is also the 4th winning team at the UAE Tour Women after SD Worx, DSM and Trek – Segafredo.
Daria Pikulik, 3rd in the final stage, is the first rider from Poland to score a podium finish at the UAE Tour Women.
Canyon//SRAM Racing, winner of the Teams Classification, with Mr. Ayman Hussain Al Bijawi – Sales & Marketing Director at Bin Hammooda
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