DOHA: The much anticipated first proper XC-MTB race of the 2020/2021 cycling season was successfully held in Al Khor this weekend.
The event was attended by 200 race participants spread in 4 races with 11
categories in total catering riders as young as 4 years old to 57 years old.
This outdoor off-road cycling event was organized in collaboration with Qatar Cycling Federation (QCF) and the United Filipino Mountain Bikers Qatar (UFMBQ).
Szymon Wasiak, Head coach of QCF commented that the organization of the race was already on the top level for a grassroots community event like this.
“The race organizers, volunteers, and marshals from UFMBQ did a great job in keeping the flow of the race smooth and safe for everyone.”
He commended that with this kind of race organization, Qatar will be ready to go up one level and organize a proper UCI XC MTB Race in the future.
He also added, “The atmosphere created by the Filipino mountain bike
community is so overwhelming and the support and cheers of fellow mountain bikers on the route added a lot of fun and motivation for the riders climbing those steep climbs.”
Along with the Duhail MTB trail, the Al Khor Playground MTB trail had become one of the most popular XC MTB racecourses in Qatar. It has been a crowd favorite not only because of its scenic view of the Al Khor bay but because the trail is so dynamic and has a lot to offer when it comes to trail features that can cater to newbies, experienced, and pro mountain bikers alike.
It has a lot of short but steep climbs which creates intensity because there are fewer recovery areas in between those short climbs and when
there are climbs, there are also descends and drops and a lot of sections that are technical which demands a lot of focus to maintain your pace and to avoid crashes.
And the trail keeps on evolving every season, thanks to the help of Team El Padyakero, a local Mountain biking community based on Al Khor under the UFMBQ umbrella who is maintaining and building this trail network.
The Qatar National team riders made a clean sweep with Abdullah Aljaiidi (Team Doha Cycling) winning the main race of the day in front of Marwan Al Jalham and Nayef Al Mesalam (both Team Rasen Adventure Shop).
Abdullah attacked on the first lap and maintained it until the end, even managing to increase the gap of the riders in every lap until the finish.
Open Expats category was won by Kees Wouters (NED – Team Rasen Adventure Shop) followed by Andres Bustos Del Valle (ARG – Team Los
Gauchos) and Clark Arvin Andrada (PHI-Team SMCC APO Lakay).