MUSCAT, Sept 14
Home rider Mohammed al Wahibi of Salalah Club claimed the fourth and concluding stage honours for an ideal finish of second Tour of Salalah on Wednesday.
UAE cyclists’ consistent show earned them all the five general classification titles in the four-stage cycling event.
The four-stage cycling race, which offered a total prize money of RO 7,730, was organised by the Oman Cycling Association and supported by Dhofar Municipality, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and Ministry of Heritage and Tourism.
The closing ceremony was held under the auspices of Dr Ahmed bin Mohsen al Ghassani, Chairman of Dhofar Municipality.
In the 116 km-long stage from Khor Rori to Municipality Entertainment Centre, Mohammed al Wahibi finished on top with a timing of 3 hours and 22 seconds (10 bonus points). Thailand’s Supachok Kaewsuya (03:00:22 – 6 bonus points) claimed the second spot and Mundher al Hasani of Salalah Club (03:00:26) finished third.
UAE’s Saif al Kaabi clinched the golden jersey with an overall time of 11:12:59 by topping the individual time classification.
Saif earned a purse of RO 600.
Stage 1 winner Saif made a safe finish at the 48th in the last stage.
UAE’s Khaled Mayouf took the green jersey by topping the points classification with 40 points and got a prize money of RO 600. The Stage 2 winner also followed his team-mate for a safe finish in the fourth stage at 50th spot.
In the KOM individual classification (best climber), Jaber al Mansoori of the UAE took the top spot and silver jersey with 40 points and a purse of RO 300.
In the under-23 category, UAE’s Abdullah al Hammadi grabbed the white jersey by topping with an overall timing of 11:13:52 to take a purse of RO 300.
Omani riders Said al Rahbi (11:20:27) and Mohammed al Wahibi (11:20:44) came second and third respectively in the under-23 time classification.
In the team category, UAE emerged champions with an overall timing of 33:39:46. The UAE team earned a purse of RO 1,000.
Oman-based Cycle KOM – NRO (34:29:05) kept their consistent performance throughout the Tour to retain the second spot and a prize money of RO 800. Thailand national team came third (34:37:27) in their first appearance in the event to earn a prize money of RO 600.
Salalah Club (34:44:54) and Oman Royal Army (34:52:54) finished fourth and fifth among the 10 teams.
Cycle KOM captain Paul Willcox of the United Kingdom said it was a great team effort.
“We had some misfortune with tyre punctures but we never panicked and continued to work together.”
Willcox, a regular presence at the Oman Cycling Association-organised races, said it was great experience of cycling in Salalah.
“The second edition of Tour of Salalah has been another success. Its stages were run amid the backdrop of beautiful scenery with challenging switching climbs to test the riders. I hope it continues in future years,” the veteran cyclist told the Observer.