Some of the world's best cyclists and teams will head to Saudi Arabia at the start of next year after organisers announced the dates for the rebranded AlUla Tour.
Formerly known as the Saudi Tour, the race returns for a fourth edition and takes place from January 30 to February 3. It will be organised by the Ministry of Sport and The Royal Commission for AlUla in cooperation with the Saudi Cycling Federation and the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The AlUla Tour will welcome more than 119 cyclists from 17 teams across the globe, including elite UCI World Tour teams, UCI Continental teams, and Saudi Arabia’s brightest cycling prospects. The race will be held as part of the AlUla Moments sporting season.
The five-stage tour is part of the UCI Asia Tour and is classed as a category 2.1 event.
Saudi Arabia has hosted seven professional cycling tours since its inaugural race in 1999. In 2020, the Saudi Tour joined the UCI Asia Tour.
The confirmed line-up of teams, riders and stages for the 2024 AlUla Tour will be announced at the end of this year.
“The AlUla Tour has emerged as a major local, regional and international event in recent years. We look forward to welcoming the sport’s best cyclists in one of the sport’s most unique locations; showcased to the world," said Abdullah bin Ali Al Wathlan, chairman of the Saudi Cycling Federation and vice chairman of the Arab Cycling Federation.
"The AlUla Tour, alongside our global cycling partners, are creating a legacy in this country with more and more people getting access to a sustainable sport that is inspiring people to move, be active and [stay] healthy.”
Alongside the Saudi Cycling Federation, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is creating opportunities through cycling across all levels. This includes two mass participation rides alongside the AlUla Tour for juniors and the wider public. RCU has also created environmentally friendly initiatives through local bike tracks, hubs, desert biking tours, mountain biking options and electric bikes at Hegra.
“The new AlUla Tour promises to take cycling to another level this year. Welcoming the sport’s elite talent and teams on the UCI Asian Tour across five challenging stages showcases the best of AlUla as a sporting destination," said Phillip Jones, RCU chief tourism officer.
"We are just about to open our brand new 45km bike track for road cyclists which is set to be one of most stunning dedicated cycling routes in the world. We really believe AlUla has the potential to become the cycling capital of Saudi Arabia as we create more opportunities for people to watch, be inspired and ride with one the country’s fastest growing sports.”
The AlUla Tour is one of the ‘Sports Events’ festivals on this season’s AlUla Moments calendar, which also includes the AlUla Trail Race (January 11-12), AlUla Desert Polo (January 17-20), and the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup 2024 (February), with more to be announced.