Hero Abu Dhabi 2024: An exotic XCO full of stars and $150,000 in prizes
As usual, the XCO preseason attracts the best cyclists of the modality to events with temperate climates, but unlike previous years, this season a new race has arrived on the calendar and in a very unusual location for mountain biking: United Arab Emirates. The Hero Abu Dhabi 2024 kicks off with a starting grid full of stars, including Peter Sagan, and a prize pool of $150,000.
The Hero Abu Dhabi 2024 enters the XCO calendar with a grid full of stars
The Hero Abu Dhabi 2024 will be held from February 9 to 11 in the capital of the United Arab Emirates and arrives as the first event of the HERO Series circuit which will also feature races in the Dolomites, Italy, the Black Forest, Germany and in the Swiss town of Einsiedeln.
The Abu Dhabi event is a completely new UCI C1 category test, but it has managed to bring together important figures from the international XCO such as Luca Braidot; 3 times Italian Champion and bronze medalist at the Olympics; Peter Sagan, 3 times World Road Champion; Martina Berta, Italian Champion; Alessandra Keller, current number 3 in the UCI Ranking and Swiss Champion; Bec Henderson, Australian and Oceania Champion, or the European Champion Sofie Pedersen. The test will also have Spanish representation with the presence of the cyclist from the BH Coloma Team, Jofre Cullel.
Like any World Cup race, the Hero Abu Dhabi 2024 will feature Short Track tests on Friday, February 9 and Sunday, February 11 will be the turn for the XCO. All of them will be held on an artificial circuit located on Hudayriyat Island. As the organization itself says, it is the only mountain bike "trail" in the Saudi capital and has a route of 15 km, although the XCO layout will be 5.4 km with 70 meters of unevenness.
Another important factor of this race is that it distributes up to $150,000 in prizes, among which the $20,000 that the winners of the XCO races will take stand out. $10,000 will go to those who come in second place and $7,000 to those who close the podium. But there will be cash prizes for the entire top 10 and they will be of the same amount in the men's and women's races.
The race schedules are as follows:
Friday, February 9
- 04.00 – 04.30 pm RACE: UCI Cross-country Short Track - Women Elite XCC
- 04.45 – 05.15 pm RACE: UCI Cross-country Short Track - Men Elite XCC
Sunday, February 11
- 09.00 am – 10.30 pm RACE: UCI Cross-country Olympic - Women Elite & U23 XCO
- 11.00 am – 12.30 pm RACE: UCI Cross-country Olympic - Men Elite & U23 XCO