The UAE Cycling Federation were forced to cancel this year’s Dubai Women's Tour due to COVID-19 but confirmed they will bring the race back in 2022. The second edition of the UCI 2.2 event was scheduled to take place from February 5-8.
"Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic the 2021 version is canceled. The next edition will be in 2022," a representative from the UAE Cycling Federation told Cyclingnews.
The women’s race calendar has faced a series of cancellations starting with the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, Tour Down Under and Herald Sun Tour, all called off after the pandemic made it difficult for teams to travel to Australia for the January and February races.
Vuelta CV Feminas and Setmana Ciclista Valenciana were also set to take place in February but won't go ahead. Other events such as the Ronde van Drenthe and the Itzulia Basque Country have been postponed, and Ride London Classique and Tour de Yorkshire have been cancelled.
The peloton has now turned attention to 'opening weekend' with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 27. The 1.Pro classic will set the tone for the start of the Women's WorldTour at Strade Bianche in March.
The Dubai Women’s Tour held its first edition last year with Lucy van der Haar (Hitec Products) winning the opening stage and the overall title. Samah Khaled (Team UAE) won the second stage, Tatsiana Sharakova (Minsk Cycling Club) won the third stage and Nicole Steigenga (Doltcini Van Eyck Sport) won the fourth and final stage.
The Italian national team were scheduled to travel to compete at the Dubai Women’s Tour with Marta Bastianelli this year and were surprised by its cancellation.
"This worries everyone," said Italian national team coach Dino Salvoldi. "We had planned to go to Dubai, but the race was cancelled, and the same happened for two races in Spain in Valencia. We as a national team will return to do two sessions a week at the Montichiari velodrome. But it won't be easy to cover a month just with training."