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First Emirati bicycle challenge great success

posted on 25/08/2014: 1917 views



Cycling in the U.A.E. is becoming increasingly popular and reached another milestone recently, with the hosting of the 1st Emirati Cycle Challenge at Al Wathba Cycle Track on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi. The ride was organised by the Sultan Hazza Al Darmaki Stables, was open to Emirati social riders and featured challenges for male and female riders.

Organisers were delighted with the turnout, with 96 cyclists taking part, with the female riders competing over 16km, and the males over 48km.

Challenge organiser, Sultan Hazza Al Darmaki, said, "We decided that because cycling here in the U.A.E. is growing very quickly, that we would like to encourage people to take up the sport of cycling, and challenge themselves to get fit and ride in a cycle race.

Al Damarki added, "We are very lucky that H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan has given us this beautiful cycle track to use and train on. Our cycle track is currently 16km long, but already the Sheikh is adding more to our loop track with an extra 100kms to open soon. Not only is the surface very smooth to ride on, but we have the best solar powered lights to help us train in the cooler evening or early mornings, it truly an amazing cycle track in the desert.

"I decided a few weeks back that I wanted to thank the Sheikh and show how much we, as Emiratis, appreciate this gift. I thought that I would host a cycle challenge for local men and women to encourage them to come out and enjoy the facilities we have. We focused our attention not at the already strong professional riders, but rather at social and relatively new cyclists. This race was to show what fun you can have at a cycle race as an amateur and that as a newcomer you too can be competitive in the sport of cycling." The women's race was won by Shathra Ahmed Al Haijaji, with Hanadi Alkabouri finishing 21 seconds behind in second and Noor Walker taking third. The men's race was a tight finish with Mohammed Almazrooei crossing the line just ahead of Khaled Al Muhairi with Bader Thani in third.

The Al Wathba cycle track is open to everyone, both locals and expatriates, and is free to use. – Emirates News Agency, WAM - http://www.wam.ae/en/news/sports/1395268864163.html

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