Al Ghailani powers to top

Gulf Cycles’ Al Yaqoubi wins OCA Championship fifth stage, Willcox slips to second

Arsene Endurance Team rider Abdullah al Ghailani snatched the Omantel red jersey for overall leader from North Road Oman’s Paul Willcox in the open category of the Oman Cycling Association (OCA) Championship 2020-21 after the conclusion of stage five in Nizwa at the weekend.
Gulf Cycles rider Abdulrahman al Yaqoubi took the honours in the 123 km stage with three laps after finishing in 2 hours 53 minutes and 14.74 seconds. Al Yaqoubi climbed to sixth spot in overall standings with 208 points after the win.
His team-mate Mazin al Riyami followed in second place with a time of 2:53:14.97. Royal Oman Army rider Hussam al Rawahi finished third with a time of 2:57:18.94, a difference of 4 minutes to second place. After the fifth stage, Abdullah al Ghailani, who was third earlier, rose to overall top spot with 281 points after finishing eighth in stage five.
UK rider Willcox, who was Omantel red jersey holder for the last four stages, slipped to second spot 281 points after finishing 17th.
Ahli Sidab’s Mundher al Hasani, who was second overall after stage four, remained third with 258 points after he finished 16th.
Mohammed al Wahaibi (227 points) and Mazin al Riyami (221 points) are occupying fourth and fifth positions.
In the youth category, who raced for a distance of 40 km, Egyptian Islam Walid Ayyad of Youth Club claimed the top spot with a time of 1 hour 7.39 seconds, followed by Amjad al Shraiqi from the Junior Training Centre Nizwa. Abdulaziz al Mandheri from the Bausher Junior Training Centre finished third.
The fifth stage was the longest distance among the total eight stages, including some mountain heights on course.
OCA president gave away the trophies to the top-three winners in three sections.
In the under-23 section, Aseel al Riyami (2:58:05.94) won while Abdullah al Ghailani was second and Mohammed al Wahaibi ended third.
Al Ghailani takes the Bank Nizwa jersey for overall leader with 230 points, followed by Mohammed al Wahaibi (195) and Mundher al Hasani (185).
In 40 plus section, Willcox claimed the top position with team-mate Szczepan Pietruszka finishing second and Simeon Gelacio taking third spot.
Willcox leads overall for the Sohar International Jersey with 260 points, followed by Pietruszka (190) and Ayman al Wahaibi (175).

Abdulrahman al Yaqoobi’s and Mazin al Riyami’s excellent results put Gulf Cycles in top spot in overall team table with 254 points. Al Yaqoobi (120) and Al Riyami (110) earned big points with team-mate Shabib al Balushi chipping in with 24 points.
Royal Army are second with 240 points, while Ahli Sidab ‘A’ and ‘B’ teams are third and fourth with 168 and 159 points, respectively.
Another Royal Army team are fifth with 116 points.
The 87 km sixth stage will be held in Qurayat on January 22.

Anuroop Athiparambath