The third annual WRDC Tour de Al Gharbia cycle race, organised by Madinat Zayed and Ruwais Higher Colleges of Technology, was a triumph this year.
Sponsored by the Western Region Development Council (WRDC), more riders took part than ever before, including around forty students from Al Gharbia high schools all over the Western Region and their teachers.
HCT students came from Colleges throughout the United Arab Emirates and many community riders joined the race, including college staff, sponsored local riders and three generations of one British family.
The race was 50 km, followed by the awarding of trophies and medals to the winners.
The awards were given out by Obaid Al Mansouri from WRDC, Mairead Cosgrove, the CEO of Business Training Solutions Ireland (BTSI) and Dr. Tim Hegstom, the Higher Colleges of Technology’s new Vice Provost for Academic Services, who had come to support the race, and other important visitors.
The oldest rider was 75 and he completed all 50 Km from the beautiful white salt flats of Tarif to the soft orange dunes of Madinat Zayed.
Together with his son, he was visiting his nephew, who teaches at the Higher Colleges in Madinat Zayed, and they all rode in the race.
The Tarif Traffic Police kept everyone safe on the road and provided an ambulance in case of emergencies. Three cycling referees from the Emirates Cycling Federation kept the race times to make sure the race was fair and water was available in every layby along the route.
After the race, there was a 10 Km Victory Ride and a well-earned lunch, followed by the prize giving. Omar Ahmed from Al Nukhba School in Mirfa finished first for the school students, who cycled 20 Km. Al Nukhba School also won the school’s team cup.
Philip Wheeler, who works for Al Shaheen, in government schools, collected sponsors for his ride and to date has raised AED 3,500 for the Zayed Humanity Care Centre. He is hoping to raise more. “I will certainly enter the race next year and hopefully enter a team into the event. It was a wonderful way to get fit and help others at the same time,” he said.
Cycling is a clean and healthy way to travel. The theme of the race was “Ride for Life…. Preserving our health – Preserving our environment” and communicating the message that cycling as part of a healthy lifestyle benefits everyone was a key driver behind the event.
So, time to start preparing for next year, you just need to eat a healthy diet and get out your cycles, so you can join the WRDC Tour de Al Gharbia 2013.