Al-Dossari stakes claim with fourth-fastest Riyadh Rally time

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Yasir Seaidan brought his MINI JCW Buggy home in third place and maintained the pressure on his rival. (Photo/Supplied)
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Yasir Seaidan brought his MINI JCW Buggy home in third place and maintained the pressure on his rival. (Photo/Supplied)
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Yasir Seaidan brought his MINI JCW Buggy home in third place and maintained the pressure on his rival. (Photo/Supplied)
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Yasir Seaidan brought his MINI JCW Buggy home in third place and maintained the pressure on his rival. (Photo/Supplied)
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Yasir Seaidan brought his MINI JCW Buggy home in third place and maintained the pressure on his rival. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 01 December 2019

Al-Dossari stakes claim with fourth-fastest Riyadh Rally time

  • Abu Dhabi veteran Al-Balooshi storms through to win motorcycle category

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al-Rajhi ceded eight seconds to French rival Stephane Peterhansel on the third 160 km selective section of the Riyadh Rally, but held on to guide his Toyota Hilux to victory and the outright lead in the Saudi Toyota Desert Rally Championship on Saturday.

Peterhansel and stand-in Portuguese co-pilot Paulo Fuiza won the special in their X-raid Mini JCW Buggy to finish the event just 46 seconds behind the local driver and his Ulster co-driver Michael Orr in what was a useful Dakar Rally shakedown for the 13-time winner of the world’s most challenging off-road rally.

Yasir Seaidan completed the last competitive section through the dunes and sandy wastelands of the Saad National Park 45 seconds behind Al-Rajhi in the second of the Mini JCW Buggies and maintained the pressure on his rival in the championship with the final place on the podium. 

ED Racing’s Essa Al-Dossari enjoyed a strong finish to the event with the fourth-fastest time in his Nissan Navara to secure a similar position in the overall standings.

Czech Miroslav Zapletal rounded off the top five in his Ford F-150 Evo after dropping time to the leading quartet in the last timed section.

Mutair Al-Shammeri brought his Nissan home in a distant sixth place and Faris Al-Moshna Al-Shammeri, Sami and Al-Mashna Al-Shammeri and Khalid Al-Feraihi rounded off the top 10. 

Salman Al-Shammeri finished in 14th overall and won the T2 category for series-production cross-country vehicles by 12 minutes, 37 seconds in his Nissan.

Yousef Al-Suwaidi snatched the runner-up spot from Farhan Al-Muharib with the second-quickest time on the last day.

Yousef Al-Dhaif managed to overhaul Saleh Al-Saif to snatch victory in the NUTV category in his Can-Am. Partnered by French navigator Laurent Lichtleuchter, the Saudi took advantage of serious delays for his rival to pip Majed Al-Tuwaijri to the win.

Khalil Al-Tuwaijri made it a Can-Am 1-2-3 with third place. Shaker Al-Tuwaijri was the sole representative in the official T3 section with his Can-Am.

Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Al-Balooshi stormed through to win the motorcycle category on his KTM, the experienced veteran of numerous regional and international cross-country events following up his success at the recent Rally Qassim and Jordan Baja with a winning margin of 2 minutes, 11 seconds over his brother Sultan.

Friday’s leader Mishal Alghuneim lost out on the win after opening the road and the Saudi slipped to third place, while the stage win helped Kuwait’s Abdullah Al-Shatti secure fourth. Local rider Hashyan Al-Hashyan and Kiwi Philip Wilson rounded off the top six.

Sufyan Al-Omar claimed the stage win to secure a comfortable success in the quad category.

The Saudi headed a Yamaha 1-2-3 with Abdulrahman Alaglaa and Abdulaziz Al-Shayban filling the other podium places.

Sultan Al-Masoud retired, but pre-event favorite Abdulmajeed Al-Khulaifi recovered from his previous day’s woes to set the second quickest time on the last stage.

The Saudi trio of Ibrahim Al-Muhanna, Osama Al-Sanad and Raed Abo Theeb were running at the rear of the field in their Mercedes truck entered in the T4 category.

The event was organized by the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF), under the chairmanship of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al-Faisal and supervision of former FIA Middle East champion Abdullah Bakhashab.

It ran with the support of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation, the General Sport Authority, Abdul Latif Jameel Motors (Toyota), the MBC Group, Al-Arabia outdoors, and the Saudi Research and Marketing Group.


Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

Updated 22 January 2020

Riyadh to host inaugural Saudi international cycling race

  • This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders

JEDDAH: Sports chiefs are gearing up to announce the Saudi city venue for a new international cycling race set to take place in the Kingdom.

Chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal is expected to reveal on Thursday that Riyadh will host the five-stage Saudi Tour 2020 from Feb. 4 to 8.

The inaugural edition of the 2.1 category race is being staged by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), the organizer of the world-famous Tour de France.

Details of the route in and around the Saudi capital were due to be released during a press conference at Riyadh’s Digital City.

The cycling event precedes the Tour of Oman (Feb. 11 to 16) which is facing cancelation following the death of Sultan Qaboos.

ASO chief executive, Yann Le Moenner, said: “We are involved in the emergence of a new racing scene in the Middle East, which corresponds to the riders’ demand at the beginning of the year.

“The creation of the Saudi Tour and its sustainable installation in the calendar is part of this movement. This new race represents an exciting organizational challenge, a coherent sporting event for an entire category of riders, and a nice opportunity for the television viewers who follow the race to discover new landscapes.

“This is also, for us, an occasion to contribute to the development of cycling across the Kingdom,” he added.

Saudi Cycling Federation chief Sabah Al-Kraidees said it was an “honor” to have the inaugural Saudi Tour, noting that the event would help to promote the Kingdom as a tourist destination.

“The Saudi Tour is a great opportunity to publicize the country’s varied territories and historic sites and to let visitors discover our sense of hospitality. This initiative fits perfectly with the ambition of Saudi Arabia to promote the Kingdom beyond its borders through sports and especially cycling,” he added.

The five-day event will feature stages in the hills around Riyadh and on urban circuits.

The Kingdom recently began issuing tourist visas after travel to the country was largely limited to pilgrims, business travelers and resident workers.