The Second Stage of the Qatari Cycling League Races Begins
Al Thakira Road Race kicked off this morning, defying the heavy rain, hailstorm, and thunderstorm that swept through Doha just the day before. While the weather had wreaked havoc on the city, Al Khor and Al Thakira remained dry with clear skies, allowing the season's first bunch road race to proceed as scheduled. Thanks to the previous day's downpour, the warm and humid conditions gave way to a cooler and more comfortable starting time.
This season marked a refreshed beginning for road racing in Qatar as the Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) introduced age group categories, welcoming riders as young as 13 and veterans aged 50 and above. The Men Open category, however, retained its ability-based grading system.
The Al Thakira Road Race featured an impressive turnout of more than 180 participants, divided into four race groups. Participants battled it out on the fast, flat, and traffic-free Al Thakira-Mulaiji Road, made possible by the invaluable support of the Traffic Police Department.
In the Men Open category (Group A), former national team rider Ahmed Elbourdainy of Team Doha Cycling emerged as the victor, completing four laps (96.3km) in an impressive 2 hours and 20 minutes. He averaged 41.21 kph and was closely followed by Iranian rider Abdullah Motreq and Kuwaiti rider Mansour Alsubaiei, both from Team Aladam Cycling.
The largest group, Men Amateur (Group B), saw over 120 riders competing, with a dramatic crash occurring just five minutes into the race. This early incident resulted in the retirement of over 15 riders. In the end, a thrilling bunch sprint secured victory for Qatari rider Saoud Alkhalaqi of Team Aladam Cycling, completing the three laps (72.1km) in 1 hour and 52 minutes. He was followed by Filipino riders Christian dela Cruz and Gerald Mendoza.
Other notable winners in various categories included Marwan Elsaid in the Junior Category, Kemuel Paz in the Men Masters Category, and Elmer Oropieza in the Men Veterans Category.
The Women's category (Group C) was clinched by Filipina rider Chelsea Sophia, followed by Qatari rider Lolwa Almarri and Filipina rider Miriam Castro.
The youngest riders in Group D, aged 13 to 16, displayed their skills and determination. Hafiz Sali of the Qatar National Cadet Team won the Cadet 15-16 category, while Aria Rayyan Pesurnay secured victory in the Cubs 13-14 category.
The success of this fantastic event would not have been possible without the unwavering dedication of the QCTF events and technical team, along with the invaluable support of hardworking volunteers, Rayyan Water, and Al Ghariya Cycling's mechanic and technical assistance.