Dubai: Rashid Al Balooshi, winner of the 127km Al Salam Cycling Championship race for Emirati amateurs in December, added the 75km Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament Cycling’s Amateur UAE Men’s title to his resume on Saturday night in a tight finish where the top three were separated by a second.
Saeed Hareb, Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council and Chairman of Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament’s Organising Committee, flagged off the race, which featured more than 350 riders of different nationalities, in the presence of Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Assistant Secretary General of Dubai Sports Council, Hassan Al Mazrouei, Director of NAS Sports Tournament, Adel Al Bannay, Chairman of the Tournament’s Technical Committee, and a number of UAE Cycling Federation officials.
Al Balooshi, who rides for Trek M7 team, crossed the finish line in 1:42.41.52 seconds to pip Khalid Al Thani (Al Shafar), while Dubai Police’s Saeed Hassan Safar came third.
Al Balooshi walked away with Dh26,400 in prize money, while Al Thani picked up Dh20,400 and Safar Dh14,400.
“It was a really close race and I am thrilled to finish at the top of the podium,” said Al Balooshi. “It was a great team effort and I would like to thank everyone on our Trek M7 team for this win. They worked really hard — extra hard given the tight finish and the intense competition for the title.
“Nad Al Sheba Sports Tournament is one of the most important annual cycling competitions for us and winning this title is a great end to the cycling season for me, and an incentive to work harder for the coming season and participate in more events as a team.”
In the FIP Stars, an internationally ranked tournament featuring some of the world’s top padel tennis players, the Spanish duo of Antonio Fernandez Cano and Jose Garcia Diestro defeated their compatriots Javier Garcia Mora and Jaime Munoz Enrile 6-2, 7-6 for the men’s title.
In the women’s final, the Italian pair of Chiara Pappacena and Giulia Sussarello, who were runners-up in the FIP Rise tournament in Rome last month, beat Frenchwomen Jessica Ginier and Wendy Barsotti 6-3, 6-0. Ginier had won the title in Rome alongside Alix Collombon.
Organised by Dubai Sports Council, the NAS Sports Tournament has been one of the top sporting attractions during the Holy Month of Ramadan since 2013,