The inaugural edition of the women’s UAE Tour is going to give some of the best puncheurs and sprinters of the women’s WorldTour peloton a chance to open up their win tallies early in 2023. With only one mountainous stage (stage three which finishes on the Jebel Hafeet climb), some of the most established climbers in the peloton, such as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx), have opted not to enter the UAE Tour, giving way for some of the more explosive riders to have a shot at victory overall.
While it is likely that the general classification winner will be decided on Jebel Hafeet, there are also three sprint stages that the climbers need to get through safely on either side of that day. Here, there are risks of crosswinds, crashes, time bonuses and unexpected attacks, so taking GC victory is going to be no simple matter. For the sprinters, the women’s UAE Tour will give them their first real showdown of the 2023 season, meaning we will get to see if Lorena Wiebes has settled in well to her new outfit, Team SD Worx, or if Charlotte Kool will be able to take up the mantle as the world’s fastest sprinter for Team DSM.
Here are our picks of the key contenders for both the general classification and sprint victories in the 2023 Women’s UAE Tour.
German national champion Liane Lippert has already had a stellar start to her debut season with Movistar, finishing second in the one-day Vuelta CV Feminas race a few days ago behind her teammate Floortje Mackaij. This proves that the 25-year-old has had a solid winter of training and is already on a high level despite it being so early in the season. Lippert is well-suited to the Jebel Hafeet climb, excelling in punchy efforts and often performing well in Ardennes Classic-style races. She told Rouleur a few weeks ago that she believes she has also improved recently on long, steady climbs too, so we can expect to see Lippert at the forefront of the race when the road goes up. Thanks to her familiarity and love for the Classics, Lippert will also be comfortable if crosswinds cause havoc on some of the flat stages and risk breaking up the peloton – she’s performed well in conditions like this in Belgium before.
Liane Lippert at the 2022 World Road Race Championships in Wollongong (Image: Alex Whitehead/SWpix)
One thing that could let Lippert down is the team surrounding her. Despite having world champion Annemiek van Vleuten in their roster,…
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