Start the cycle season with Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge

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The cycle season is upon us once more and to kick things off is the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge’s first build up ride taking place on Friday, September 7 at Al Qudra Cycle Path.

Registration for the event closes on Wednesday, September 5 and as the first event in the season, the 35km build up ride is the perfect platform for those new to the sport to be part of the cycling trend in Dubai, or for those that have been having a break from cycling during the hot summer to jump back on.

The popular cycle event consists of four build up rides which increase in distance each time to get cyclists prepared for the biggest challenge of the season – the 92km event on Friday, December 14.

Launched nine years ago, the event has continued to grow with over 2,000 cyclists from all over the world entering the 92km event and many cyclists taking part in the UCI Gran Fondo Category to try to qualify for the exciting UCI Gran Fondo World Championships.

The organisers of the event are also excited to announce the return of the Spinneys Dubai 92 Junior Rides; the timed 2.5km, 15km and 30km rides are designed for 6 to 15 year-olds held at the Dubai Autodrome on Thursday, 13 December.

This is a great opportunity for younger ones to be part of the largest amateur cycling challenge and support the legacy of cycling in the UAE.

To register or to find out more information on any of the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge events please visit www.cyclechallenge.ae or www.hopasports.com.

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Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas gears up for home race

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Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas has recovered from an “insane” homecoming and is looking forward to challenging on home turf when the Tour of Britain begins on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Welshman was welcomed back to Cardiff by more than 8,000 fans after winning the race to Paris in July and he will be cheered on once more by local supporters when the Tour of Britain’s first stage begins in Pembrey Country Park, Carmarthenshire this weekend.

Thomas told BBC Radio 5 live: “After the support I had, it’ll be nice to race on home roads. The homecoming was insane, I didn’t know what to expect, I was fearing it just being my wife and the dog.

“But it was just phenomenal – if the support at the Tour of Britain is anything like that, it’s going to be a pretty special eight days of racing.”

Thomas expects to spend much of his time on the road in a support role following a hectic August.

“There has been a lot of travelling and a few nights out as well so my form is certainly not what it was in France but I still should have decent enough legs to be in the race and hopefully at the front doing something,” he said.

Beyond Thomas, Team Sky’s line-up includes six-time Grand Tour winner Chris Froome, Ian Stannard, Hollands’ Wout Poels, Lukasz Wisniowski of Poland and Belarusian rider Vasil Kiryienka.

Primoz Roglic (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Julian Alaphilippe, Maximilian Schachmann and Fernando Gaviria (Quick-Step Floors) are also taking part and have all won Grand Tour stages this year.

The tour ends in Newport, the site of Wales’ National Velodrome, which is set to be renamed in Thomas’ honour.

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Frenchman Tony Gallopin wins stage seven of La Vuelta

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Frenchman Tony Gallopin used a late break to win stage seven of La Vuelta as Rudy Molard retained the leader’s red jersey.

Gallopin attacked from the leading group with a little over two kilometres of the 185.5km stage from Puerto Lumbreras to Pozo Alcon remaining, and the AG2R La Mondiale rider had enough in reserve to stay away.

Groupama-FDJ’s Molard saw his overall lead grow as Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski lost 25 seconds on the other general classification favourites after crashing on a dusty corner inside the final 10 kilometres of the rolling stage.

Frenchman Molard now leads by 47 seconds from Movistar’s veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who finished third on the stage as world champion Peter Sagan won the sprint for second place, five seconds behind Gallopin.

Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann is a further second back in third overall, with Britain’s Simon Yates of Mitchelton-Scott in fourth place, 51 seconds off red.

Kwiatkowski slips to sixth, 66 seconds down as Gallopin’s win and bonus seconds move him into fifth place.

“When we came on the last straight road, I had a plan that if I have a possibility I try to attack,” Gallopin said. “I found a good moment – and I’m so happy.

“I looked back just before the last corner, maybe 200m, 300m to go and I saw nobody behind me. So I turned and I went full the last straight – I looked back in the final 50m and they were quite far, so I knew that I can win. So it’s fantastic.”

La Vuelta continues on Saturday with a fairly flat 195km stage from Linares to Almaden.

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