MUSCAT: Shihab al Qamshoui and Zabrine Cornejo won the fifth annual Tomb Raider Mountain Bike Time Trial in Al Khoud Village on Friday.
Over 100 racers took part in the 7.5km race round the popular single-track trails built by the Oman Trailbuilders group. The weather was favourable, and the recent rain combined with the efforts of the volunteer trail maintenance crew meant conditions were perfect for some close racing.
In the female category, last year’s series winner Zabrine Cornejo completed the course in 37 minutes 38 seconds to beat Greyz Orio into second place by just over two minutes. Recently crowned downhill champion Tara Atkinson came home in third place a further 20 seconds adrift to complete the 1-2-3 for the Oman Trail Foxes team.
In the male 19-49, an intense battle between Oman’s two fastest cross-country racers saw Shihab al Qamshoui of the Al Bashayer Team pip Shabib al Balushi of Gulf Cycles for the win by just 4 seconds, following a mistake by Al Balushi on the final descent. His winning time of 23:18 was over a minute ahead of Joe Bunn of Beduminati in third place.
The Al Dahirah team showed their dominance in the youth category with Hamed al Manthari (28:23) and Salim Alghafri taking the top two steps on the podium, with Sem Geilenkirchen of Loose Riders completing the podium.
Local fans’ favourite and National Downhill Champion Hamed al Wadhahi of Al Waal team took home gold in the veterans’ race, with his time of 29:09 enough to keep Mehboob Somani, riding for OQ, in the silver position.
In addition to the adults’ races, children joined in the fun too, racing round the twisty kid’s track that tested their cornering and braking skills. In the 2-6 category, Al Qasim al Gharbi took the win from Alex Jarratt and Yinuo Xue Mafeng. Mohammed Alkhayari won the 7+ normal route race, with Ibrahim al Brashdi and Neoh Cornejo in second and third respectively.
The final category was the 7+ MegaPro, which saw the most intrepid children taking on some of the adult’s track, including the fast and loose final descent. Alqaisar Al Gharbi took the top step of the podium, with Al Harith al Abri and Hatim al Rahbi finishing close behind to complete the podium.
Race organiser Joe Bunn enthused that “each year the standard of riding in each category improves and it becomes harder to predict who will be on the podiums. The atmosphere was fantastic, with smiles all round. The draw prizes provided by our sponsors, AdventuresBox, Bikeshelf.om, Kelly’s Mountain Bikes, and Muscat Bike Shop meant that everyone had a chance of being a winner, and in the end mountain biking in Oman was the ultimate winner.”
The next race takes place on October 29 at the beginner friendly Bousher Mount Everest trail.