Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge is back at Nad Al Sheba

Jay Asser 6/12/2014
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Starting young: Kids as young as seven can participate in the event.

The UAE’s largest community cycling event is finally here as the annual Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge returns for what should be its most popular edition yet.

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The Cycle Challenge, being held on Friday, December 12 at Nad Al Sheba, will span Dubai’s roads with a course that features famous landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Burj Al Arab.

No matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or expert cyclist, the 92km race will be a test of endur­ance, speed and skill.

Now in its fifth year, the Cycle Challenge has also launched the first Junior Cycle Challenge for the sport’s youngest riders. Cyclists aged seven to 10 will be able to enter a 16km race, while 11 to 16 year olds will race over 32km. That event will take place on Thursday, December 11 at Nad Al Sheba as well.

“We’re expecting more than two thousand riders this December, and that’s fantastic – four times more than when we first put on this event in 2010, and the num­bers are growing year on year,” said Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge director Stewart Howison.

“This is a great community event; an event for everyone, be it serious riders who want to achieve good times, or people who just love cycling for fun.

“It’s all about promoting cycling in Dubai and encouraging people to take up the challenge, and the enthusiasm for our event is fantastic.”

Many riders prepared for the Cycle Challenge by taking part in the four build-up rides over the past two months which increased in distance from 35km to 45km to 65km and finally 85km.

Over 700 cyclists turned out for the final build-up ride with the number of participants swelling as the Cycle Challenge drew nearer.

Cyclists who did not compete in any of the build-up ride time trials and haven’t been allotted a seeding position will be placed in the open seeded category.

Riders wanting to take part in the elite category will need to hold a Union Cycliste Internationale license. A tandem category is also available.

Registration for the Junior Chal­lenge closes tonight at midnight, while the final day to sign-up for the Cycle Challenge is tomorrow  midnight. To register, visit www.premieronline.com.

The fee for all categories of the Cycle Challenge is Dh270 (team price for tandem) and Dh50 for the Junior Challenge.

What: Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge and Junior Cycle Challenge
Where: Nad Al Sheba, Dubai
When: Junior Cycle Challenge takes place on Thursday, December 11 and the 92 Cycle Challenge is on Friday, December 12
Contact: Visit www.premieronline.com to register or www.cyclechallenge.ae for more information

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First cycling race of GP Series gearing up for Hamdan opener

Jay Asser 25/11/2014
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Twists and turns: Criterium racing is traditionally raced in town and village centres with tight corners.

Super Sports’ Silverback Cri­terium GP Series begins with its first of four races open to riders of all abilities and ages to experience a different style of cycling.

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Commencing next Friday, December 5 from Hamdan Sports Complex, the series will be held over a short circuit of around 1,500 metres.

Unlike Grand Tours, one-day events or time trials, criterium rac­ing is traditionally raced in town and village centres with tight corners. It’s held over a fixed period of time of 50 minutes, followed by three extra laps.

Following the 50 laps, the riders who remain – lapped riders will be pulled – will compete over the last three laps to determine the win­ners on a ‘first over the line’ basis.

Criterium requires good bike handling skills and the ability to continuously change pace, making the series both challenging and inviting.

“There’s plenty of long events, and it’s easy to do a time trial with the superb Al Qudra Cycle Path available in Dubai, and the Al Wathba Track in Abu Dhabi,” said Angus Russell, manager of Super Sports Events and series organiser.

“We needed something that could cater to all, but focused on a different perspective of cycling. Something that would challenge a different skill set for cyclists, but also provide a spectator event for ‘cycling widows’ and ‘cycling or­phans’, something that gave them a chance to see the cyclist in the family in action.”

Each day of the series will feature four categories: Experts, Novices and Ladies are for ages 17 and above and have 50 minutes plus three laps, while Juniors is for ages 14-16 and has 25 minutes with two additional laps.

Points will be awarded for the top 20 finishers in each race and will accumulate over the series.

To make it more interesting, each 10th lap will have a sprint prize, or a prime, for the first 10 people across the line. The sprint points will ac­cumulate throughout the race and the series.

The second race of the series will take place in January, the third in February and the final in March.

Registration for the first race closes on Monday, December 1 at midnight or sooner if places sell out.

On the day of the race, the action begins at 07:00. Get on your bike, pedal hard and fast and measure your cycling skills with riders across the UAE in the Silverback Criterium GP Series’ opening race. 

What: Silverback Criterium GP Series
Where: Hamdan Sports Complex, Dubai
When: Race day is Friday, December 5 with registration closing at midnight on Monday, December 1
Contact: Visit either www.premieronline.com or www.supersportsevents.me to register.

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The Great Dubai Pulse Ride is back at Dubai Sports City

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Great turnout: Over 400 riders showed up for the previous edition in March.

Whether you want a family day out, a leisurely ride or a race to get the competi­tive juices flowing with prizes at the end of it, the Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road at Dubai Sports City this Friday is right up your street.

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An increasingly popular event that takes place on a regular basis as part of the Dubai Sports Council’s Dubai Pulse activities to promote health and wellbeing, the previous edition in March saw more than 400 riders involved in the action, while a total of over 800 people enjoyed a range of family-friendly activities on the sidelines.

All you need to take part is a bike and a helmet, and for this edition the options for riders are greater than ever.

Organisers have added a 20km ride for women to the already-existent categories of a 5km family and kids ride, a 20km cross-coun­try ride open to all and a 40km cross-country challenge.

The 40km challenge features prizes from The Cycle Hub, the one-stop shop for all cycling needs based at Dubai Motor City, with a Dh5,000 voucher for the winner, Dh1,500 for the second-placed rider and an additional Dh1,500 for the first female rider across the finish line.

Registration for the ride, that is set to get underway at 8:00am, is free and can be done in advance at www.thecyclehub.com or on the day from 7:00am.

Additional activities include a brunch barbeque, a bouncy castle and children’s play area, face paint­ing and a raffle draw.

And, in total, prizes worth more than Dh10,000 are up for grabs during the day.

Looking ahead to the event, Dubai Sports City President Khalid Al Zarooni, himself a keen cyclist, said: “We are delighted to be stag­ing another edition of the Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road and everyone here is looking forward to it very much.

“The latest edition, in March, was our biggest and best yet and we want to make this next one even better.

“The addition of the women’s 20km ride is an illustration of the way the event is growing and we hope it will encourage even more people to get involved.

“We are once again grateful to the Dubai Sports Council for its endorsement of the Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road as part of its Dubai Pulse activities and, like Du­bai Sports City as a whole, we look forward to the event continuing to go from strength to strength.”

The event is supported by pre­senting sponsors SOAMS (Dubai Sports City Owners’ Association Management Services), Dubai Sports City and The Cycle Hub.

Supporting sponsors are the ICC Academy, Spanish Soccer Schools, The Cycle Hub Bistro and The Els Club.

The cycling event is part of the Dubai Sports Council’s Dubai Pulse scheme that also involves walks, runs and swims as well as cycling at the new cycle track at Al Qudra, as part of its programme to make sport a lifestyle for Dubai residents.

Launched by the Dubai Sports Council in 2009, Dubai Pulse is designed for all segments of society and all nationalities.

What: The Great Dubai Pulse Ride – Off Road cycle event and family fun day for non-cyclist
When: Friday 21 November, 8:00
Where: Dubai Sports City
Contact: Dubai Sport City: 04 425 111; registration on the day from 7:00 or online at www.thecyclehub.com

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