Doha: More than 1100 riders took part in the second edition of the Ride of Champions, bringing together the sports’ avid participants, first-timers and the wider community.
Organised by Qatar Cyclists and presented by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), the one-day cycling event attracted cyclists from a record number of 57 countries. More than 200 Qatari riders also featured in the event which had the starting and finishing points inside the Education City at Qatar Foundation (QF).
Notable personalities that took part in the event included Ambassadors to Qatar from Australia, Canada, France and the Netherlands. Diplomats, school and college students, housewives, intellectuals and engineers also participated in the event.
Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the President of Qatar Cyclists, said: "We are very proud of this achievement. This event has been successful in every way. The organisation has been excellent. The attendance shows how this sport is so popular in Qatar. The beauty of cycling is that brings people from all nationalities and all different backgrounds together. I hope that this event will support cycling in Qatar, we look forward to next year’s event to make it bigger."
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing & Promotion Officer at QTA commented: “We are truly delighted to present the Ride of Champions event this year. The event has allowed diverse cultures to integrate and participate together. Riding with a bicycle around the landscape of Doha can be an extra attraction for the sport fans from all over the world to visit Qatar. We fully support the further development of the Ride of Champions worldwide and we strongly believe that the event will attract event more cycling fans from around the globe.”
Besides the road cycling event over three distances (48kms, 78kms and 137.5kms), the organisers also put together an event for beginners that was kicked off by Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, the Qatari diplomat who was recently a candidate for the election of the post of the Director-General of UNESCO.
Al Kuwari said after the race: "I am always happy to feature at such events. I have been part of cycling events before. It is great to see such a huge gathering of riders in one place. This is a great place to be. It is a place buzzing with excitement. Clearly, cycling is becoming very popular because we can see such huge numbers of riders. Qatar is always shining."
Mohammed Al Kuwari, President of Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, said the event is set to grow bigger.
"The event was a huge success. Impressive turnout and great organization. This shows the great growth in the cycling sport in the local community", Al Kuwari, a regular cyclist himself, said.
The partners of the event include Qatar Cyclists, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Qatar Cycling and Triathlon Federation, QF, Ooredoo, Rayyan Water, and GMC. Supporting entities include Garmin, Rasen Sports, Carbon Wheels, Al Shaqab, and Adidas Eyewear.