AJMAN // The Ajman Tourism Development Department (ATDD) are hoping to put the emirate on the sports destination map when they host their first cycling competition, Ride Ajman, on April 22.
The ATDD have teamed up with Fairmont Ajman hotel and Ajman Bank for the 90-kilometre race, which is open to all cyclists above the age of 16. There is a smaller 7km charity race as well, the proceeds from which will be donated to a charity project in Ajman.
“We are organising the first cycling race in Ajman to promote the emirate as an ideal venue for sporting events in support of Ajman’s Vision 2021,” said Faisal Al Nuaimi, the general manager of ATDD, at yesterday’s press conference, which was held at Fairmont Ajman to officially announce the race.
“Sporting races such as Ride Ajman will put the emirate on the map as a sports and tourism destination, so we look forward to hosting the best athletes in cycling from the other emirates and outside of the UAE.”
As a sport, cycling has seen a massive growth in the UAE in recent years and the country is now host to two UCI Asia Tour events: the Dubai Tour and the Abu Dhabi Tour. More than 100kms of cycling tracks have been laid out in Dubai and across the country, and several pro cycling teams such as Skydive Dubai, Al Nasr, and Sharjah Continental are based in the country.
Mohammed Mehrab Alsabagh, the technical director of the UAE Cycling Federation, is expecting these pro teams to take part in the Ride Ajman race alongside a minimum of 200 riders.
“Honestly, this is a big move by the Ajman government, especially Sheikh Ammar [the Crown Prince of Ajman], but it is not unexpected,” Asabagh said. “After building a new track, which is 8km, we were expecting them to promote the track and the best way of doing it is to host a race.
“So a great initiative by the ATDD to have a race in Ajman, an amateur-pro race and a charity race as well. It’s a brilliant idea to promote Ajman as a sports and tourist destination, and, of course, the cycling track.”
The 90km race will be flagged off at 6am from the Fairmont Ajman and head to Al Tallal Camel Racecourse before making its way back, while the charity race will be held on Ajman Corniche. Trophies and prizes will be given to the first, second and third place winners for men and women.
Riders interested in taking part can register online at https://www.hopasports.com or visit Ride Ajman’s Facebook page.
Follow us on Twitter @NatSportUAE
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheNationalSport