UAE riders made a clean sweep in the 19th GCC Road Cycling Championships yesterday, bagging all three gold medals on offer with Mirza brothers finishing one-two in the Elite Individual Time Trial (ITT).
The 28-year-old rider Yousif Mirza, who spent two weeks training with his team in Italy in January, clocked 45.21 seconds to clinch the ITT gold ahead of his older brother Badr Mirza. Badr clocked 46.11s. Bahrain’s Sayed Ahmed Khalil came third with a timing of 47.19s. UAE riders, who claimed three gold medals on the opening day of the championship, maintained their domination yesterday. Apart from Mirza brothers, their teammate Abdullah Abdulkareem and Abdullah Jassim won the Juniors Individual Time Trial and Cadets Individual Time Trial gold.
Rashid Abdullah of UAE won the Junior’s silver medal. “It is nice to finish first and second with Yousif. I am proud of my team’s show on the first two days of the championship,” Badr said.
“It’s a proud moment to listen national anthem on the podium after Yousif’s victory,” said Badr, who is four years older than his brother, in his Instagram post yesterday.
This not the first time Yousif has won in Qatar. He had won the overall classification triumph at the 2013 Tour of Al Zubarah — a 2-2 race on the UCI Asia Tour — among other notable performances in Doha.
The Emirates’ top rider Yousif tasted a slice of history when he became the first Emirati cyclist to be part of a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour team, when a revamped UAE Team Emirates was unveiled ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Tour.
In 2013, Yousuf went on to win the Sharjah Cycling Tour and capped a fine season by coming first in the mountains classification at the Tour d’Algerie. However, his breakaway season came in 2015 when he bagged the silver medal at the Asian Road Race Cycling Championships to seal his spot at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, where the Emirati was not given a finishing classification due to exceeding the race’s time limit.
Meanwhile, the UAE team comprising Badr Neerzra al-Hamadi, Muhamed Hasan al-Marwi, Jabir al -Mansuri and Ahmed al-Mansuri won the 46km Elite class team time trial title, the feature event of the opening day. UAE also won gold when Umar Abdurrazzaq, Umar Salim, Rashid Ahmed and Khalil Essa won the 23km cadet class race and the 34.5km junior class race as Rashid Abdullah, Abdullah Abdul Karim, Mohamed Farooq and Hamd Abdullah took 46:12s to finish the job on Tuesday.
Today, the 92km (eight laps) junior road race and 46km (four laps) cadet road races will be held at Lusail circuit. Tomorrow, the 138km elite road race will be held around Katara and Lusail.
DAY TWO RESULTS
Elite Individual Time Trial
1. Yusif Mirza (UAE) 45.21 seconds
2. Badr Mirza (UAE) 46.11 seconds
3. Sayed Ahmed Khalil (Bahrain) 47.19 seconds
Juniors Individual Time Trial
1 Abdullah Abdulkareem (UAE) 31.43 seconds
2. Rashid Abdullah (UAE) 31.58 seconds
3. Mohamed Ibrahim (Bahrain) 33.15 seconds
Cadets Individual Time Trial
1. Abdullah Jassim (UAE) 16.09 seconds
2. Jassim Mohamed (Bahrain) 16.54 seconds
3. Al Hassan al-Momin (Saudi Arabia) 17.37 seconds.
UAE’s Yousif Mirza (left) beat his elder brother Badr to clinch the Elite Individual Time Trial title during the 19th GCC Road Cycling Championships yesterday. PICTURE: Jayaram