Columnist Tom Bushell looks ahead to the city's biggest race
Here we go then, 2013. Sport will be in full flow around the world – and here in the UAE we’ll get some of the best bits. We start the year with great news: the recent Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge was once again a roaring success in its third year, and it has paved the way for a fully sanctioned ICU (International Cycling Union) Dubai Tour. That means we’ll have the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Alberto Contador and Mark Cavendish all racing through the streets, cementing Dubai as a cycling capital. The Dubai Tour will begin in 2014, another world-class sporting competition on the UAE’s ever-growing sports calendar.
So what’s on the horizon for the coming year? Well, we’ll not be able to hide from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, where Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will battle it out. Woods has announced he’s in his best shape of the past year, so the world number three is hoping for a good start to the season. The action gets under way in the capital on Thursday January 17. Meanwhile, Dubai Desert Classic is back for its 24th year on Thursday January 31. Emirates Golf Club will once again stage one of the biggest European Tour events, with Lee Westwood hoping to go one better than his second-place finish last year.
Records were beaten all over the place at last year’s Dubai Marathon and there’s more excitement expected on Friday January 25, with renowned runners including Kenyan champ Moses Mosop taking part.
As the year progresses we can enjoy another two weeks of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship, where Federer and Radwanska will be defending their titles in February. The Abu Dhabi Triathlon takes place in March, as does Dubai World Cup, with the World Swimming Championships starting in July and, of course, the DP World Tour Championship, the Rugby Sevens and much more towards the latter part of 2013. Here’s to a great year. Tom Bushell hosts Sport On 7 on City 7 TV (Mon 8pm) and is Arabian Radio Network’s head of sport.