The GC battle on the UAE Tour comes down to three stages. The 2nd stage is a flat team time trial of 17.2 kilometres long before the first of two mountain finishes happens on the third day of action. Jebel Jais climbs for 20 kilometres with gradients hovering around 5%. Usually the time gaps on the Jebel Jais are very slim.
The finish climb on the last day, Jebel Hafeet, is a different story. It’s a 10.8 kilometres climb at 6.6% with the section between kilometre 4 and 8 sloping at 8% to 9%. In 2020, Adam Yates attacked in this part of the climb and he finished roughly 1 minute ahead of the first chasers. In the subsequent two editions it was Tadej Pogacar who outsprinted Yates on the line.
Last year, Pello Bilbao and João Almeida were the best of the rest, finishing 15 seconds down on the two with Luke Plapp 1 more second behind. Two years ago, the gap between Pogacar/Yates was bigger, as the first chasers – Sergio Higuita, Emanuel Buchmann, Harm Vanhoucke, João Almeida – finished with a deficit of 48 seconds.
Yates is the only former winner racing the 2023 UAE Tour.
Favourites UAE Tour 2023
*** Adam Yates, Remco Evenepoel, Jay Vine
** Pello Bilbao, Sergio Higuita, Thomas Gloag, Brandon McNulty
* Luke Plapp, Emanuel Buchmann, Sepp Kuss, Jakob Fuglsang, Alexey Lutsenko