Muscat, aug 13 – Cycling enthusiasts in Muscat can expect some Asian level mountain bikers in action in October when the second edition of the OPAL Mountain Bike Cross Country Race takes place. The event, which is meant to promote and encourage mountain biking in Oman, had its inaugural edition last year when about 108 cyclists participated in the race. The OPAL Mountain Bike Cross Country Race is organised by Excellence Performance, an event management company. “The 2017 edition of the event was just a trial stage for us to test the waters and see the potential,’’ Rashid al Kindi, Executive Director, Excellence Performance, said.
Rashid stated that the event will be a chance for Omani mountain bikers to represent the national team at the Arab Mountain Biking Championship to be held from November 16-18 in Oman. Rashid expects about 120-150 mountain bikers to make their presence felt at this edition of the event. “This event will be an opportunity to make themselves available for selection for the Arab Mountain Biking Championship,’’ he added. The OPAL Mountain Bike Cross Country Race will be held in three categories of Elite, Master and Youth. The Elite category will feature cyclists in the 20-39 years age group, the Masters section will see competitors in the above 40 years bracket.
The Youth category will see cyclists in the 16-19 years bracket competing. One of the major highlights of the event will be the possibility of Asian level cyclists participating in the event. The Excellence Performance team will be visiting Indonesia during the 18th Asian Games and interact with some of the best cyclists from all over Asia. The idea will be to convince some of them to make their way to Oman in October for the OPAL Mountain Biking Cross Country Race. Rashid also said there will be cash awards and medals awarded to the winners and the details will be announced three weeks before the event. Shabib al Balushi was the winner of the Elite race in 2017.