Over 1500 cyclists from around the region hit the streets of Dubai on Saturday for the fifth edition of the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge, the most popular mass participation cycle challenge in the Middle East.
The Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge started in 2010, and now attracts cycling enthusiasts from all over the world for the 92km ride around the roads of Dubai.
Roman Van Uden (NZL) was the fastest finisher in the Challenge, taking just 2:01:05 to cover the distance. Claus Holm of Denmark, finished second in 2:01:08, with Talal Soder (UAE) crossing the line next in 2:01:04.
Holm was part of a group of ten Danish riders who were making their first trip to Dubai specifically to participate in the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge.
The fastest female finisher was Natasha Leask (NZL) in 2:05:59, with Nichola McDonald (GBR) finishing in 2:06:53 and Helle Bachofen Van Echt (DEN) in 2:11:12.
And in a special addition to the programme, two Junior Challenges were held on Thursday for Under 16 year old riders.
“Cycling in the UAE is growing so fast across all age groups, and this year the demand for under 16s to have their own race was overwhelming. We had over 150 kids participate in the rides, and this will definitely become a permanent feature on the programme from now on” said Donal Kilalea of the organising committee.
In the 15km ride for 7-10 year olds, Charlie Gould (GBR) finished fastest in 31:01, ahead of Zayd Turk (USA) and William Dodsworth (GBR) in the boy’s section. Charlotte Stoll (GBR) was fastest of the girls, with Holly Sievwright (GBR) and Abigail Allen (GBR) close behind.
In the 11-16 yrs section, Rashid Swaidan (UAE) was fastest over the 30km course in 50:29, with Khaled Makhrab (UAE) and Sancho Barcia (ESP) the second and third finishers. Chrissa Trump (RSA) crossed the line first in the girl’s event, in 1:01:29, ahead of Imogen Sylvester (GBR) and Cordel Trump (RSA).
“And this morning also saw the mini-rides for the under 6s, being run at Nad Al Sheba, which they thoroughly enjoyed. It’s great that cycling is so much fun for all ages, and really brings families and the community together” said Kilalea.
“We are very appreciative of the support and enthusiasm of the Dubai Sports Council, the RTA, the Dubai Police and the UAE Cycling Federation which has been critical to the success of the event. And we are of course very grateful to our sponsors and supporters: Spinneys and Dubai 92” .
All the details about the Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge are on the Facebook page Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge.
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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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.”
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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