DOHA, December 12, 2015-Ahmed Yusuf al-Mansoori of UAE claimed the first stage of the Qatar leg of the 14th GCC Seniors Cycling Championship at Losail International Circuit yesterday.
Qatar’s Khaleel Abduljanan finished second, while his compatriot Ahmed Bassam al-Bourdainy clinched the third spot.
The riders completed seven laps around the Losail International Circuit covering the roads outside Losail Shooting Range and the Losail Sports Arena for 80.5kms long stage.
Al-Mansoori said he enjoyed the battle with Qatar riders. “Qatar team gave us a tough competition today,” he said.
“It was a tough stage because it was fairly windy and it is very difficult when the wind was against you,” he said.
“I did this for my team. We have a great bunch of riders. They do well as a team,” al-Mansoori said.
“I think I did well and I hope I can continue to ride well in the next two days also as today was a good start for us in Qatar,” he said.
Qatar’s al-Bourdainy also said the windy conditions made riding tough.
“It was very windy and cold as well at the start,” al-Bourdainy said.
“The UAE riders did well today, but I am confident we will come back well in the next two stages. We have done well at this event and we will be stronger over the course of the next two days,” he said.
Today, the riders will start and finish the second’s day’s action in Madinat Al Shamal.
The riders will cover a distance of 103.3kms, Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) said.
The third and final day of action will be held in Dukhan where the riders will cover a distance of 98.4kms.
After a break of two days, QCF will stage the hugely popular Tour of Zubarah that will start on December 16 and end on the 19th of this month.
This week’s Tour of Zubarah will be the third edition of the four-day event designed to promote the country’s rich heritage and historical sights.
The first day’s action will be held at Aspire Zone (3.3km prologue). The second day’s action will commence at Al Thakira and conclude at Madinat Al Shamal after the riders complete a distance of 129.9kms.
The third stage will begin at Camel Race Track in Dukhan (119.8kms) while the fourth and final stage begins in Simaisma and ends at Al Zubarah Fort (119.8kms).
At the end of the prize distribution ceremony yesterday, Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) president Sheikh Khalid bin Ali al-Thani presented a souvenir to former secretary general of QCF Majid al-Naimi.
The ceremony held at venue of yesterday’s race was staged to thank al-Naimi for his ‘outstanding contributions’ to promote cycling in Qatar and the region. GCC cycling officials also presented a special plaque to al-Naimi.
Sheikh Khalid said: “The Qatar leg of the GCC Championships is popular among the riders. We usually see great contests among the riders and that was the same case today as well. Qatar team is doing well and I am confident they will come back with stronger performances over the next two days.
“We have a busy week with two events and then we will prepare for the Tour of Qatar events next year.”