Mirza retains leader’s jersey

December 07, 2013 - 8:17:06 am

Runner-up New Zealand’s Roman Van Uden (left), UAE’s Yousif Mohamed Mirza (winner), and third-placed Austria’s Martin Weiss is seen on the podium at the end of the second stage of the Tour of Al Zubarah in Doha yesterday. 
DOHA: Yousif Mohamed Mirza of the UAE yesterday braved a scary crash in the first 20 minutes to win stage two at the inaugural edition of Tour of Al Zubarah.

Yesterday’s win in the 127.5km stage helped the gutsy 25-year-old rider to retain the yellow and red jerseys for second day running.

Despite suffering injuries on his left hip and leg, Mirza did not lose his form on his new bike and pipped a big peloton at the finishing line in Madinat Al Shamal in the north of the country.

Mirza clocked a time of two hours 48 minutes and 54 seconds for his second stage win.

Kazma Cycling Team rider Roman Van Uden of New Zealand was beaten in a photo-finish as was Austria National Team rider Martin Weiss.

Qatar’s top rider Ahmed Elbourdainy finished in fourth spot just two days after a crash on day one. Krist Jan Fajt of Adria Mobil was fifth fastest.

A smooth ride today would ensure Mirza - who won the first intermediate sprint gets to corner Tour of Al Zubarah title glory.

Weiss has the white jersey after another strong finish after the cyclists took off from Simsimah.

“It was a tough day. It was very windy. I had a crash just 20 minutes into the stage,” Mirza said after the day’s proceedings. “I broke my bike but changed into another and fought all the way,” he added.

“I did not give up. I never give up,” the cheerful UAE rider said with a huge smile on his face. “See my injuries. You can see them. But it is okay,” he added.

“I caught the group quickly. I think I have a 20-second lead. I hope I can retain my jerseys. I will fight, that’s for sure” he added.

Qatar National Team rider Elbourdainy was satisfied with his ride yesterday. 

“It was a good day but I couldn’t take the stage, Elbourdaniy said. “Today I fought well with the leader. I wanted to be on the podium but I was one second behind. Maybe I can do better in the last stage. I am getting physio therapy treatment. I hope I am lucky in the final stage.”

Qatar coach Branko Filip said: “The riders helped Ahmed (Elbourdainy) to be in front. After the first 40 minutes, Ahmed managed to attack. But other riders were tough. We will try again in the last stage. He had a strong stage. Ahmed has been trying hard but his crash in the prologue has cost him dearly.The more races we get the better we get.”

Today’s final stage will start and end at Mesaieed. 

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