Mark Cavendish won the very first Abu Dhabi to Al Ain Classic on Sunday.
The Brit crossed the finish line first in a race which saw 120 professional and amateur riders complete the 190km course that started at ADNOC HQ in Abu Dhabi.
The star-studded peloton was waved off by Commander in Chief of Abu Dhabi Police H.E. Major General Mohammed Khalfan Al Romaithi, H.E. Dr. Mugheer Al Khail Chairman of Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, H.E. Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, and Sultan Al Dhaheri, General Manager of Etisalat Abu Dhabi. The race finished in the beautiful setting of Al Jahili Park in the garden city of Al Ain.
Commenting on the weekend’s race, H.E. Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Cycling Club said: “We are absolutely delighted with the success of the Abu Dhabi – Al Ain Classic. This event was the first of its kind to take place in the UAE. 2017 has created a good foundation.
“The quality of both professional and amateur entries was extremely high, and we intend to build on this to become one of the UAE’s great races. The Classic and the Family Cycling Festival was a great way for Abu Dhabi Cycling Club to be part of the UAE’s 46th National Day celebrations. We hope that everyone who took part had an enjoyable day and hopefully it has encouraged new cyclists to try our fantastic sport.”
Speaking about his victory, Cavendish said: “It was an incredible day of cycling which was made even sweeter by the win. It was great to compete with such an accomplished group of riders, both professional and amateur. I always love cycling in Abu Dhabi and I can’t wait for the tour next year.”
In celebration of National Day, Olympian and the UAE’s fastest road cyclist Yousif Mirza, of UAE Team Emirates, was specially selected to wear the number 46. Mirza finished a very close second to Cavendish, followed by fellow UAE Team Emirate rider Roberto Ferrari who finished in third position.
Mirza added: “I felt honoured to have 46 as my race number and represent UAE Team Emirates on National Day weekend. To ride in a professional event like this on home soil was a real treat and it was very encouraging to see such a buzz around my sport in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.”
Roisin Thomas of Ireland was the top finishing female rider coming in at 28th followed by Natasha Leask of New Zealand who crossed the line in 35th position.
Inspired by the iconic races of Europe, the event was hosted by Abu Dhabi Cycling Club, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Etisalat, Daman & ADNOC all supported the race with platinum partnerships.
The brand new Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery By Sofitel entered the Guinness World Record Books on Saturday November 18 as the hotel hosted a yoga session with the most nationalities.
Overall, 112 people from different countries took part in the yoga class – sealing the record on the final day of the Dubai Fitness Challenge.
Watch highlights in the video above.
There is no shortage of top sporting events in the Emirates and here’s our one-stop diary of everything that’s going on — welcome to our weekly feature, What’s Up UAE.
Are you attending or participating in one of the following events?
Share your experiences with us!
FIFA CLUB WORLD CUP UAE 2017
Wednesday, December 6 to Saturday, December 16
The UAE is ready to welcome top teams from six continents for the annual tournament, which begins with Al Jazira’s home clash against Auckland City at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Wednesday.
After winning the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores final last week, Brazilian side Gremio joined Jazira, Auckland (OFC), Mexico’s C.F. Pachuca (CONCACAF), Spanish giants Real Madrid (UEFA), Morocco’s Wydad Athletic Club (CAF) and Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds (AFC) to complete the line-up of teams.
OMEGA DUBAI LADIES CLASSIC
Wednesday, December 6 to Saturday, December 9
Two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen is one of the star names who will be in action on the greens of Emirates Golf Club.
America’s Brittany Lincicome will also be part of the field, making her debut in Dubai, while rising English star Sophie Lamb is one to look out for.
ULTIMATE ATHLETICS RACE NIGHT UAE
Thursday, December 7 – 5pm
The popular race night returns as athletes take to the track across a range of different disciplines.
This time, New York University Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island will host the evening at their outdoor track and field stadium.
JOHNSON ARABIA DUBAI CREEK STRIDERS HALF MARATHON
Friday, December 8 – 6am
One of the most popular running events in the UAE sporting calendar takes place around the beautiful surrounds of Dubai Creek.
Around 1,700 runners will compete in the 16th edition of the race as the 21.1km course takes in beautiful Old Town Dubai, the Dhow Wharfage and the Old Souk.
For many, it is the ideal tune-up to January’s Dubai Marathon.
DUBAI MUSCLE SHOW
Friday, December 8; Saturday December 9
The world’s biggest athletes descend on the UAE for the second edition of the Dubai Muscle Show, which takes place at Dubai World Trade Center (Zabeel Halls 5 & 6).
Hundreds of sports nutrition, fitness and bodybuilding brands will be on site as well as international bodybuilding personalities in attendance.
du TOUGH MUDDER
Friday, December 8; Saturday December 9
The world-renowned obstacle course challenge returns over the weekend as mudders face the ultimate challenge of physical strength, stamina and mental grit at Hamdan Sports Complex.