The podium winners at the sixth stage of GCC Cycling Tour in Doha pose for a picture. Yesterday at Losail, the UAE riders Tareq Obaid Murad, Ahmed Al Mansouri and Yousif Mirza came up with excellent performances to make a clean sweep of the podium positions at the second stage, of the multi-locations stage event, two of which were held in Qatar.
Doha: The UAE riders dominate at the sixth stage of GCC Cycling Tour by clinching the top three positions.
Yesterday at Losail, the UAE riders Tareq Obaid Murad, Ahmed Al Mansouri and Yousif Mirza came up with excellent performances to make a clean sweep of the podium positions at the second stage, of the multi-locations stage event, two of which were held in Qatar.
The trio clocked 2:37.41s at the 108.8km stage around Losail to help UAE remain atop the summit in the overall team classification, ahead of Bahrain and Qatar.
UAE’s Mohamed Al Murawwi retained the leaders’ yellow jersey, while Ahmed Al Mansouri retained the green jersey for maximum points.
Talal Sudain, also of UAE, retained the white jersey for the best young rider. Qatar rider Moosa finished the nine-lap stage in fourth spot.
Al Murawwi expressed delight on retaining the leader’s jersey.
“It is fantastic to have yellow jersey for our home stages of the tour. We have clinched all the three jerseys here… it’s a superb feeling. We are a good team of riders and our strategies are working fine,” said the UAE rider while speaking to journalists after the podium ceremony..
“It is a nice feeling that I have the yellow jersey and now it’s my and my team-mates’ responsibility to finish the tour at the top,” he added.
“It was a stage which was neither too difficult, nor too easy today. (It was) too windy. Our team work and tactics worked well and we retained our grip on all the four honours – Yellow Jersey, Green Jersey, White Jersey and Team,” added Al Murawwi.
Team-mate Mirza, who is three seconds behind Al Murawwi in the General Classification, com said: “It was a flat stage. (It was) Suitable for the sprinters. We controlled and did the front-running, getting the top three places in the stage today.
“We have 10 riders in the UAE. All are not at the same level. We’re however working hard and they’re getting better with each race. Now, we’ve one stage over the mountains in Al Ain (UAE). That will be quite decisive and I hope that will be bring about the changes in the GC,” Mirza said.
Qatar coach Branko Filip said that his wards performed well.
“We expected a place on the podium which was not possible as the UAE riders are too strong. One of our tactics was that Ahmed (Elbourdainy) would attack in the last kilometre. He made a good job. However, the UAE riders did not let it happen.
“Overall, I’m happy with my riders. They followed the plan and stayed on the heels of the UAE riders. Our problem is that we don’t have good sprinters. Moosa is fast but he needs to be superfast. We require more young riders. We lack a good back-up and hopefully, we’ll try to find out more young riders and groom them,” he added.
The teams will leave Qatar on Thursday, the National Day, for the UAE, where the seventh and eighth stages will be organised before the GCC Tour concluded in Oman with two stages.