RAK Bank Ride gets overwhelming response

RAK Bank Ride gets overwhelming response
Riders from the Philippines dominated the men's 30km ride with the top eight finishers being Filipinos.

Ras Al Khaimah - The UAE's Al Murawwi wins men's event, while Van Hattum of The Netherlands was first in the women's segment

By James Jose

Published: Fri 19 Jan 2018, 7:41 PM

Last updated: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 1:17 AM

Fridays are normally a day where you put your feet up and relax after a hectic week but it wasn't a typical Friday in Ras Al Khaimah.
The beautiful emirate, with its mix of sun, sand, pristine sea and the mountains, was buzzing on the morning.
It was the second edition of the RAK Bank Ride and riders from different parts of the UAE came out in their numbers, for a fitting endorsement of the Ride.
And although the 85km course for experienced cyclists didn't last the distance, keeping the safety of the riders in mind, there were accolades as well as medals for those that finished in the lead peleton.
The UAE's Mohammed Al Murawwi finished on top in the men's segment when the race was stopped after 60km. England's Sam Stollery, representing Frankies was second followed by David Williams.
England's Simon Henley of The Cycle Hub-Arla Protein was fourth followed by teammate Denmark's Johan Hesselsoe.
There was another Emirati finisher with Suliman Al Hammadi coming in eighth.
In the women's section, Yvonne van Hattum of The Netherlands was first followed by Helle Bachofen von Echt of Denmark. Egypt's Lobna Elhalawani was third with Helle Sommer Sahlholdt coming in fourth.
Riders from the Philippines dominated the men's 30km ride with the top eight finishers being Filipinos.
The women's equivalent was won by England's Imogen Sylvester.
"The second edition was fantastic. We had over 500 riders, we had three different races, one a short, a medium and a long distance run. We saw lot of families with their children, enjoying Ras Al Khaimah, enjoying the scenery and just having a good time," RAKBANK COO Geoff Stecyk told the Khaleej Times.
The first edition of the event was held in 2015 and Stecyk said that they plan to make the ride a permanent fixture.
"There has been a gap and there are many reasons behind it. But now, we are aiming to have it as an annual event. So, hopefully, we will be back next year and on an annual basis going forward," he said.
"It is a great event and one of the main reasons RAK Bank is behind this to let people experience the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. It is beautiful, you'v got the sea, you've got the mountains, you've got the deserts. Obviously with the beautiful scenery such as this, you can draw some good competitive teams," added Stecyk.
The focus is on making it a regular event and Stecyk didn't rule out Rides in other emirates, in the future.
"I think for the time being we will continue with the RAK Ride. We will like to turn it into an institution and when it becomes so popular, we will consider expanding it. But, at this moment in time, we would like to make this a high quality, high attendance, and above all, a high safety ride," he said.
Regarding the 85km race being stopped, the race director said: "The reason we ended it was to ensure the safety of all the riders. The way we ran the race was on a managed road basis. Usually, these type of races work fine but today we had a little bit more traffic than we anticipated, creeping onto the road. And we took the decision to end the race after the first lap.
"I think maybe some of you were disappointed that we didn't get to finish it but I think we will all be happy that we are all safe and well."

More news from