Abdullah brings cheers to hosts

MUSCAT, NOV 22 – Young Omani rider Abdullah al Ghilani brought cheers to the hosts with top spot in the under-23 category and a second-place finish in the open category of the Oman Cycling Association (OCA) Championship 2020-21 second round held on Friday.
Abdullah’s timing of 23:35.59 earned him second best time of the Round 2. The Arsen Endurance rider is leading the U-23 section for Bank Nizwa jersey with 70 points.
Paul Willcox from United Kingdom romped home with the best timing of the day — 22 minutes, 15.69 seconds — to take the top honours in the open category of the 18 km individual time trial staged at the Al Batinah Coastal Road.
Willcox also claimed the first place in the 40 plus age category with the timing.
The North Road Oman rider is leading the open section for the Omantel jersey with 120 points and wearing the Sohar International jersey for 40 plus category with 70 points.
Another cyclist from UK, Daniel Baldwin claimed the third in open category with a timing of 24:03.45.
Omani riders made an excellent outing by sweeping the fourth to tenth positions in the open category for Omantel Jersey.
Sultan Hamed al Rawahi, OCA board member, said the championship is witnessing good participation of 14 teams and two youth centres in Muscat and Nizwa.
“Out of 136 riders registered for the race, 116 cyclists competed and the second round saw good competition,” Sultan said.
OCA President Saif al Rashdi was the chief guest for the concluding ceremony as he honoured the top three place winners in open, under-23, youth, 40 plus and women categories.

YOUTH RIDERS EXCEL
In the under-23 section, Mundher al Hasani (24:57.54) took second position and Waleed al Fahdi finished third with a timing of 25:45.72.
In youth section, Islam Ayad of Egypt clinched the first place with a timing of 13:09.42, while Omanis Mohammed al Ghaithi (13:15.52) and Abdulaziz al Mandhari (14:01.09) finished second and third.
Oman’s Haitham al Faril (24:32.62) grabbed second spot in 40 plus category, while Gregory Pollard of UK finished third with a timing of 25:15.00.
In the women’s category, Asta Reynisdottir Parker (27:34.27) and Robynn Pollard (30:27.68) impressed with first and second positions.
NEXT RACE ON NOV 27
The next race, Race 3 will be 90km road race with 15 laps at Halban on November 27.
A total of eight races are scheduled for this season’s championship.
Teams will collect points from each of the races.
After the first race, North Road Oman have 250 points, while Arsen Endurance have 230 points and Al Ahli Sidab A have 210 points.
In the opening 45km team time trial event of the OCA Championship on November 6, North Road Oman won the honours.
Arsen Endurance and Al Ahli Sidab A finished second and third respectively at the season-opening event for OCA from Al Amerat to Al Salil and back.
The championship, which runs for a total of 641 km, consists eight races — six road races, one individual time trial and one team time trial. All the races are one-day events with separate prizes on each day.
Prizes will be given in the Open category, under-23, team and 40 plus. This year’s event is being competed by Ahli Sidab A and B teams, Al Rustaq, Al Shabab, Sur, Izki, North Road Oman, Gulf Cycles, Arsen Endurance/Diver Store, Nizwa Club, Brothers Team, Capital Team, Ibri Club and Royal Army of Oman.