Yousif Mirza and Kristijan Durasek meet UAE Special Olympics’ cycling squad

Sport360 staff 16:02 18/03/2019
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Kristijan Durasek far l) and Yousif Mirza (fifth l) with members of the UAE team.

Emirati national road race and time trial champion Yousif Mirza, and team-mate Kristijan Durasek, took time out from their UCI WorldTour schedule to visit Abu Dhabi and lend their support to First Abu Dhabi Bank’s partnership with the Special Olympics World Games.

The UAE Team Emirates duo attended the finals of the men’s 10km road race at Yas Marina Circuit and met with members of the UAE Special Olympics’ cycling squad.

Mirza and Durasek – who are no strangers to the challenging cycling conditions that the riders have faced this week – provided advice and encouragement to the team and also congratulated a number of the riders on their medal winning achievements.

Over the past three days the UAE Special Olympics men’s cycling team has picked up a number of medals across a series of different cycling events. Their success began on Saturday when 16-year-old Micha Hambleton took a silver medal in the men’s 2km time trial with a time of just 03:47”.

On Sunday, his twin brother Jonah was able to go one better in the men’s 10km road race (M02) with an impressive sprint finish that saw him distance the rest of the peloton by well over a minute and bring home the team’s first gold medal of the Special Olympics World Games.

A second gold was then collected by Abdulla Ali Aldhuhoori who also won his men’s 10km Road race classification (M03).

Mirza said: “It’s an honour to be here at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. I am extremely proud of the UAE national team and what they have achieved.

“They are a credit to the country, the Special Olympics movement and to the sport of cycling. It was inspiring to meet them and talk about our shared passion for riding bikes – and it goes to show that cycling really is a sport that can be enjoyed by everyone.”

The UAE Team Emirates pair then took to the track at Yas Marina to participate in the Special Olympic Cycle Unified event, where they rode alongside members of the community with and without intellectual disabilities.

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