Six stars from the pro peloton spoke to the media this afternoon in a press conference ahead of the start of the first-ever 2023 UAE Tour Women, organised by Abu Dhabi Sports Council and taking place from 9-12 February.
Taking questions from the media were the following top-class riders:
Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Suez) who arrives to the UAE Tour Women after her triumphs at 2022 Amstel Gold Race and La Fleche Wallonne, and a second place in the Giro d'Italia Donne.
Two-time bronze medallist in the Olympic Road Race (2016 and 2020) Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), who last season claimed a GC win at the Women’s Tour in Great Britain and the Paris-Roubaix Femmes title.
The expected protagonist for the fast and flat stages of the 2023 UAE Tour Women, Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) secured an extraordinary 22 victories in 2022, including two stages at the Tour de France Femmes, and the European Road title.
Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ), who has taken 42 professional wins in her career so far, including the World Championships Road Race in 2007 and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders) in 2019.
The 2022 Belgian Road Race Champion, and two-time stage winner of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, Kim De Baat (Fenix-Deceuninck), and winner of the 2013 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad WE Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//SRAM Racing).
Read on for press conference quotes from the riders. The official start list is now available and can be downloaded above.
Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo): "On behalf of my team, I would like to say thank you to the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and all the race sponsors for making this event happen. We are delighted to be here because we're sure it will provide a great message in promoting women's sport, and it will hopefully inspire people to live healthier, more active lives.
"This is a very important race for us and we have a strong team here. We can compete on the climbs and also in the sprints. We've had good training over the winter and are very happy to be here."
Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ): "This is a very important event for the Women's WorldTour and for sure, we're going to try our best as a team. This is a good opportunity for us, and the community, and we will try to do our best here. I want to thank the sponsors and the race organisers for putting the race on and we're looking forward to a great experience."
Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx): "My team are here to target the sprints and we're expecting some really good battles. I hope that we set up a good lead-out train and we're aiming for as many stage victories as possible. I'm really happy to be here and we're looking forward to a good experience."
Marta Cavalli (FDJ-Suez): "First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for the warm welcome we have received in the UAE. Looking ahead to the race, I am particularly targeting stage three but at the same time it will also be good experience for me to practice riding in crosswinds. My team-mates will try and protect me as much as possible over the four stages and we also want to be competitive in the sprints."
Kim De Baat (Fenix-Deceuninck): "This is my second time racing in the UAE, three years ago I competed for the Dubai Police Cycling Team, and I'm really happy to be back. My team is primarily here to support Marthe Truyen in the sprints and we will see how far we can get in the lead-outs during the sprint stages."
Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//SRAM Racing): "We're super excited to be here this race represents an important step forward for women's cycling, helping us promote the sport in this part of the world. We've just come off a good training camp and we're super motivated for this race. We're here with many options; we can potentially challenge in the sprints and also have some strong climbers, and if we get crosswinds on the desert stages, we'll also try our luck in those as well. We're here to try and win stages, and the overall race, and we'll put our best foot forward in the hope of achieving that."
To find out more about the UAE Tour Women, including details of the official race route, jerseys and sponsors, visit www.theuaetourwomen.com.