LONDON: The Saudi Tour cycling event has been rebranded as the AlUla Tour for its return in early 2024, it was announced on Monday.
It will be organized by the Ministry of Sport and the Royal Commission for AlUla, in cooperation with the Saudi Cycling Federation and the International Cycling Union.
The biggest cycling competition in Saudi Arabia is now in its fourth year and will be run from Jan. 30 to Feb. 3, welcoming 119 cyclists from 17 teams, including from the UCI World Tour and Continental Tour.
The confirmed lineup of teams, riders and stages will be announced at the end of this year.
The five-stage event is part of the UCI Asia Tour and a category 2.1 event.
Abdullah bin Ali Al-Wathlan, chairman of the Saudi Cycling Federation and vice chairman of the Arab Cycling Federation, said: “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.
“The AlUla Tour, alongside our global cycling partners, is 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 healthy.”
The Royal Commission for AlUla has announced two mass participation rides alongside the AlUla Tour for juniors and the wider public.
The RCU has also created environmentally friendly initiatives through local bike tracks, hubs, desert biking tours, mountain biking options and electric bikes at Hegra.
Phillip Jones, RCU’s chief tourism officer, said: “The new AlUla Tour promises to take cycling to another level this year.
“Welcoming the sport’s elite talent and teams on the UCI Asia Tour across five challenging stages showcases the best of AlUla as a sporting destination. We are just about to open our brand new 45 km 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 of the country’s fastest growing sports.”
The AlUla Tour is one of the sports events on this season’s AlUla Moments calendar that also includes the AlUla Trail Race (Jan. 11-12); Richard Mille AlUla Desert Polo (Jan. 17-20); and February’s Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Endurance Cup.