Rasen Adventure Shop’s Bilal al-Saadi won the Dukhan Climber’s Race, the season-opening event of the Qatar Cycling Federation on Friday.
The Qatari cyclist finished the A category (82km) race in two hours 8mins 42.7 seconds. Team Doha Cycling’s Mouchine Rhaili was second, followed by Jamison Carino of Carbon Wheels Racing.
Team Rasen were put on the defensive by the Doha Cycling team, whose rider took the early lead. However, Doha Cycling didn’t have it all their way. Qatar team member al-Saadi and Lee Jones (Team Al Jassra) were able to follow the moves despite the lack of team support and al-Saadi looked the most comfortable up the short climbs.
By the final lap, Rasen had lost two riders, Chris Murrin (Team Al Jassra) had crashed out, and the bunch was split with a 30 second gap to a chasing group containing Carino.
In the last metres, al-Saadi’s wheel was in front. Finding himself blocked as the barriers closed in, Rhaili threw up his hand in protest and frustration but had to concede.
Next on the road, Jamison Carino out-sprinted two rivals for the remaining place on the podium. Participation in this event reflected the growth in cycling and sales of high-performance road bikes. A record 200 started in this sold-out race. That including a record number of novice racers and Qatari cyclists.
Qatar Cycling Federation’s next event is a 20 kilometre time trial tomorrow evening and road racing will resume in December. The calendar can be found at www.qatarcycling.org/events
A Race: 1. Bilal al-Saadi (Rasen Adventure Shop), Time: 02:02:42.7; 2. Mouhcine Rhaili (Team Doha Cycling); 3. Jamison Carino (Carbon Wheels)
Women: 1. Sondra Hope, 01:33:19.6; 2. 2. Isobel Bushell (Team Doha Cycling), 3. Jaymece Blanche Necesario (Bike to Work Qatar), +2.1s
B Race: 1. Jonathan Atuel (Bike to Work Qatar), 02:12:25.4 secs; 2. Julius Casili (Bike to Work Qatar); 3. Eid al-Bordaini (Qatar National Tri Team)
C Race: 1. Hassan al-Maraghi (Team Doha Cycling), 01:27:05.3 secs; 2. Ahmad al-Naimi (Team Doha Cycling), +1.8s; 3. Jonnie Christian Engracia (BPMQ - Crank Peddlers), +5.8s
D Race: 1. Junjun Labastida , 01:27:55.1 secs; 2. Allan Bandejas (Team BRO), +3.1s; 3. Pablo Bautista (Bike to Work Qatar), +6.8s
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