UAE Tour 2024 – Stage 7 Preview

Finally, something different in UAE Tour.


It is the Jabel Hafeet. It creates bigger time gaps than Jebel Jais.

The tough part is 7.3 km at 8.1%. That is still a big test in February for many. Remember there is a U-turn with 150 m left, in case there is more than one rider at the front, you want to sprint into the turn and continue to the line.


Warm and windy. A very long crosswind section starting with 80 km left – all the way to the foot of Jebel Hafeet. With 20-25 km/h (roughly 6 m/s). This turns into a headwind on Jebel Hafeet,

Here you see the impact on the climb. The wind impact is significant. The point where it is lowest is in the hair-pin section around midway. Expect attacks here.


Vine – He had a hard time closing that gap up to O’Connor. In general, I would say this climb suits him better. He goes well on steeper climbs, atleast that is how I remember him from the 2022 Vuelta a Espana. The wind is in his favor tomorrow, and his team good enough to keep him out of echelon-troubles.

O’Connor – the echelons may be an issue. I have seen him miss the split but I’ve seen him make them too. When looking at it, Sam Bennett must work for the team. Armirail is also a big shield that can cover the wind. We saw on Jebel Hafeet they are climbing well. Is it really the new bike? I’m not sure. I’m sure he is in form and climbing well.

McNulty – Has to work for Vine I think. McNulty is still a medium-mountain kind of guy for me. The American will hope to finish on the podium.

Van Wilder – he is damn good. He is one of those riders I saw a few years ago, when I started following the sport. Since then, he has just gotten better and better. I think tomorrow is a big challenge but not in terms of the echelons, they have half a sprinters team. On the other hand, 6th on Monte Bondone in the Giro 2023 says something else. I think he will hope for the podium.

Bilbao – always where he suddenly gets into podium contention. 5th and 3rd here in 2023 and 2022. This was against much better climbers, such as Pogacar and Adam Yates. I’m fairly certain he should start as a top-3 candidate tomorrow.

Poole – first youngster for this stage. In theory, he could surprise us all tomorrow and take the win. I’m confident he is that good uphill. He was a good classics rider back in his junior days, so I think he can deal with a bit of wind on the nose too. Plus, he has a solid team for crosswinds too.

Eetvelt – same goes for the Belgian here. I think he is more or less at the same level as Poole, I would argue a smidge worse. The reason for saying this is merely based on results in the past. A top-10 would still be a huge result for him.

Valter – the man with the best first name. He said he had more left in the tank after Jebel Jais. I like when a rider sets the bar for themself high. Then he just has to follow up. He will look to move into the top-10 in the GC after the stage.

Riccitello – pure climber. He will find it difficult in the crosswinds, but the team looks very strong. If he hasn’t been caught out in the wind, then he will find himself fighting for another top-10 spot.

Rubio – it does rhyme with crosswinds. If he manage to stay in contention, a top-10 is possible.

Who will win?

I think O’Connor seals the stage and GC.

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