RIYADH: The desert tracks of AlUla are set to welcome some of the world’s best cyclists for the 2022 Saudi Tour from Feb. 1-5, 2022.
The race, organized by the Ministry of Sports in cooperation with the Saudi Cycling Federation, returns for its second edition after a successful inaugural event in early 2020. The event was not held in 2021 due to the pandemic.
Abdullah bin Ali Al-Wathlan, president of Saudi Cycling Federation and the Cycling Organizing Committee of the GCC States, said: “We are pleased to host the second edition of the Saudi Tour for 2022. This is a global cycling event and one of the most important opportunities to view Saudi Arabia."
He added: “On behalf of all athletes and those who love this sport, I am pleased to express my happiness that my country is hosting this event and (highlight) the distinguished efforts made by Minister of Sports and President of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, in preserving the Kingdom’s position and accomplishing international achievements locally and abroad.”
Al-Wathlan said the development witnessed by Saudi Arabia in various sporting fields, especially in hosting major international competitions, has helped to put the country on the global map, and that the Saudi Tour of 2022 will do the same for the sport of cycling.
The tour, which comes under the initiatives of the Quality of Life program, will take place on a star-shaped course showcasing AlUla, a heritage site and culture destination in the Kingdom's northwest.
The location will introduce the stunning landscape of ancient civilizations to millions of cycling and sports fans around the world.
The race will take place in five different stages, with details related to the track and participants to be revealed shortly.
Other events will place alongside of the Saudi Tour, including a mass-participation race (Saudi Tour Ride); a women’s race (Saudi Tour Women Ride); a junior race organized by the Saudi Cycling Federation (Saudi Tour Challenge); and a dedicated race for children (Mini Kids Race, at every finishing area of the five stages).
Riyadh held the first edition of the Saudi Tour in February 2020, when the German cyclist Phil Bauhaus from Bahrain-McLaren claimed the title with a time of 17:53:38. Nacer Bouhanni of French team Arkea-Samsic came in second with a time of 17:53:40, and Portuguese Rui Costa of the UAE Team Emirates finished third with a time of 17:53:51.