Aref Al Awani (right) and Saeed Hareb were among the brains to launch the Ramadan Virtual Challenge from Friday. Image Credit: Supplied picture

Dubai: The UAE Tour has launched ‘UAE Tour Mubadala Ramadan Virtual Challenge’, an indoor cycling event beginning on Friday [April 24].

The challenge, that is aimed to encourage an active and healthy lifestyle while confined indoors during the holy month, will run for three weeks and draw to a close on May 12.

Participants will be invited to complete one race against the clock per week on the virtual cycling platform Zwift, with a host of prizes available for top finishers and virtual medals awarded to all those who participate.

The UAE Tour Mubadala Ramadan Challenge will consist of three individual time trial races – featuring a flat stage, a rolling stage and a climbing stage – each taking place on Zwift.

Each week, participants will have from Friday 08:00 local time to Tuesday 23:00 to set their best time on that particular week’s time trial stage. Riders may attempt to beat their personal best as many times as they like until Tuesday’s cut off time, before observing a two-day rest period ahead of the following week’s stage, beginning again on Friday.

The top three male and female riders with the fastest accumulative times across all three stages will each receive an official UAE Tour Jersey. In addition, those placed within the top 25 will receive official UAE Tour merchandise.

How to get started

All riders will need to take part is their bicycle, a smart trainer or turbo trainer for indoor riding, a Zwift account to participate in each stage and a Strava account to log their efforts once completed on Zwift.

In order to take part, riders will need to sign up at https://www.theuaetour.com/challenge/, and follow the steps indicated on screen to complete their registration in order to take part. Those registered to the event will receive email reminders before the opening and closing period of each weekly challenge. Their best time for each challenge will then automatically be added to the event’s leaderboard.

“Through our partnership with the UAE Tour, we aim to positively impact the community by offering them unique opportunities to get involved in sports and continue to lead an active lifestyle during this difficult period,” Humaid Al Shimmari, Deputy Group CEO and Chief Corporate and Human Capital Officer at Mubadala, noted.

“As one of the biggest international events in the region, the UAE Tour is really proud to take the lead, alongside our partner Mubadala, and offer this wonderful new initiative to our community during the Holy Month. Cycling is one of the most popular sports in the world, and the beauty of this sport is you do not have to be outdoors to compete against others. Now, thanks to technology, you can compete from the safety of your home,” Saeed Hareb, General Secretary, Dubai Sports Council (DSC), commented.

Aref Al Awani, General Secretary, Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), said they would continue to stage sports competitions remotely to encourage the community to lead an active lifestyle. “We have attached great importance with our partners Dubai Sports Council and Mubadala to initiate the Virtual Emirates Cycling Tour challenge through modern technologies. It is open for everyone to take part from their homes during the holy month. The UAE Tour is without any doubt a popular social activity for cycling enthusiasts to challenge each other and at the same time improve their fitness levels through healthy competition,” he said.

Challenge 1: 8 am on April 24 to 11 pm on April 28 - Flat Stage

Challenge 2: 8 am on May 1 to 11 pm on May 5 - Rolling Stage

Challenge 3: 8 am on May 8 to 11 pm on May 12: Climbing Stage