The remote and peaceful stretch of the road to Liwa will hum to the sound of a different mode of transport on February 18 as cyclists from across the UAE compete in the inaugural 2010 WRDC Tour de Al Gharbia.
The 60-kilometre endurance race, sponsored by the Western Region Development Council, will see Higher College of Technology male students race from Madinat Zayed to Liwa as they vie for the honors of Best Team and Best Individual awards.
The 2010 WRDC Tour de Al Gharbia is organized by the Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology and is the colleges’ first, annual, intercollegiate sporting event.
Madinat Zayed HCT Director Dr Phil Quirke said the race will start at 9 am and is expected to finish before 11.30 am.
“This will be followed by a `Victory Ride’ from the finish line to HCT Madinat Zayed Colleges for an awards ceremony and lunch,” he said.
“Each College can take part with any number of participants and the local community, other students, and teachers are welcome to join the race, non-competitively.”
Dr Quirke said a “rolling trophy” will be given for the Best Team performance and further trophies for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th teams. Trophies will also be awarded for the four Best Individual winners (the first four to finish the race). There will be medals for all participants.
Although a fun event Dr Quirke said the race would have a serious cause.
“Each year the race has a theme, to raise awareness of a specific issue in the community and this year the theme will be Healthy Living, with the caption `Ride for Life’,” he said.
He said there will be an open forum to discuss these issues on the evening of February 17 at Tilal Liwa Hotel.
Dr Quirke said the 2010 WRDC Tour de Al Gharbia was the first step towards a larger plan to conduct cycling races from all the cities in Al Gharbia – Madinat Zayed, Liwa, Mirfa, Ruwais, Ghayathi, Delma and Sila.
“Al Gharbia is blessed with natural beauty, with stunning views of rolling deserts, long stretches of seashores, islands and scenes of rural community life and we hope in time to make Tour de Al Gharbia a centerpiece of the UAE sporting calendar,” he said.
Dr Quirke added the race was also made possible due to the support of the Ruler’s Representative Court of the Western Region, SEHA, and the Western Region Police Department.