The official sponsor is the Royal Commission for Al-Ula Governorate. The commission is trying to attract at least two million tourists to the Saudi city by 2035. The head of this commission is the controversial Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Photo: Getty Images
It is said that bin Salman was behind the killing of journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi was murdered in 2018 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. According to US intelligence services, the crown prince gave permission for the plan. However, he cannot be prosecuted as he enjoys immunity as Prime Minister.
Tour de France
cycling | Tour de France 2024 opened with a hot Italian triple plate – start in Tuscany
2 hours ago
Last year, the Crown Prince bought the English football club Newcastle.
Al-Ula is a city in northwestern Saudi Arabia. The city and the surrounding area have big plans to bring more tourists to the area. In the year 2035, two million visitors should visit the ancient desert city. To fulfill these tourism ambitions, the Saudi government has allowed international flights at Al-Ula Airport from 2021. The regional airport has also received a facelift to welcome wealthy foreign tourists.
With only an airport, people don’t come. Cycling plays a major role in making the area more popular. In 2021, for example, the city became the jersey sponsor of the Australian team BikeExchange-Jayco. The first edition of the Saudi Tour was also held that year. A five-day stage race in which AlUla served as a base and was visited several times in the race. Both stages – which finished in the old part of town – were won by Dylan Groenewegen, with the last place as a sponsor on his arm.
While the Saudi Tour’s ASO organizer spoke about ambitions to make cycling in the Arabian subcontinent more popular, the president of the Saudi Federation, Saibah Al-Kuraidis, was more explicit in his goals: “The Saudi Tour is a great way to show visitors the width of the diverse nature and historical places of our country. The tour matches his ambition government in promoting the kingdom beyond its borders.”
Formula 1 circuit in Jeddah
Qatar also received this criticism in the last World Cup soccer. While the country is violating human rights, the world is watching the country’s well-organized World Cup, raising its reputation. Amnesty International in Qatar notes, among other things, human rights abuses among migrants, women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons.
Enthusiasm and motivation
The press release issued by the Australian team does not contain anything about the lack of freedom, human rights abuses, or the Saudi crown prince. Athletic Director Brent Copeland: “We are proud as a team. We feel their enthusiasm and motivation and look forward to working with them for the next three years.”
Three Dutchmen will drive for Jayco-AlUla next season. Dylan Groenevine has already led the selection. This winter, Jan Maas and Elmar Reynders have been added to the squad.
Where are you looking?
cycling | Lotto-Dstny deliberately skips Giro 2023 – ‘a logical choice’
Yesterday at 2:06 pm
Head Cycling Awards | Who won the most beautiful one-day race in 2022? Van Barley or van der Pol
Yesterday at 1:26 in the afternoon
“Professional reader. Award-winning gamer. Zombie buff. Social media junkie. Bacon maven. Web scholar.”