Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge back at Nad Al Sheba

Denzil Pinto 11/12/2014
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Big hit: The Cycle Challenge has grown from strength to strength in its five years.

The annual Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge returns this Friday, and although it’s too late to register, you can be part of the experience by cheering on the 1,600 cyclists as well as enjoy the free activities lined up at Nad Al Sheba.

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– Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge is back at Nad Al Sheba

Now in its fifth year, the event has gone from strength to strength and is considered to be one of the biggest cycling events in the UAE.

The cyclists will be riding past some of Dubai’s iconic landmarks, and to ensure people can show their support for the cyclists, the organisers have set up various viewing points across the 92km route with Nad Al Sheba Road and Meydan Royal Bridge among the places.

And at the finish line at Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park in Dubai, a special ‘Bikes Village’ will be set up with food outlets, kids enter­tainment as well as top bike shops displaying their accessories for cyclists to buy. And there could be an opportunity to walk away with fantastic prizes.

“There’s going to be loads of activities for people to enjoy at Nad Al Sheba,” said Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge director, Stewart Howison.

“Fitness First will be there and they will be showing people demonstrations and tips of how to get fit. For the kids, there’s going to be loads of activities including a bouncy castle for them to enjoy. So all in all, it will be a great day out for the family.”

Family affair: Something for everyone.

The village will be open from 12:00 to 19:00 today with the junior race beginning at 16:00. And it will reopen from 05:00 until 13:00 on Friday with the last riders coming through at around 11:00.

This year’s edition promises to be the biggest ever. Besides the main race, juniors aged between seven and 10 will compete in a 16km race, while 11 to 16-year-olds will race over 32km today. And children aged under-six can still be part of the event by taking part in the Mini Rides on Friday.

“For parents who are going to Nad Al Sheba or one of the viewing points with their children to see the cyclists can only be an encour­aging thing,” said Howison. “It can send the message to people that there is another sport out there.

"They might not be good at ball sports like cricket, football or ten­nis but they might find themselves really good at cycling. It’s always good to show the youth that there are plenty of different sports out there that they can get involved in.

"And the youth is where the next year’s champions are so it’s always encouraging to spread the mes­sage.” And Howison is hoping for a big turn-out on Friday, where your presence can mean a lot.

He added: “The little bit of extra support of cheering somebody on gives the cyclists that added motivation and willpower to help them complete the 92km. It’s really important to have as many people out cheering them on and showing their support.”

What: Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge (adult and junior races)
When: Today, December 11 (junior races) from 16:00. Friday December 12 from 06:00.
Where: Nad Al Sheba Cycle Park, Dubai (start and finish).
Contact: Visit www.cyclechallenge.ae

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Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge is back at Nad Al Sheba

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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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