RIYADH: About 100 cyclists braved the windy weather on Friday to compete in a bicycle race for women hosted by the Saudi Cycling Federation (SCF) at Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University (PNU).
Sahar Al-Harbi, the SCF referee and race manager, told Arab News the event promoted sports spirit among Saudi women as winners received cash prizes and trophies.
“The race was an effective step towards empowering women to practice cycling,” said Princess Mashael bint Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, who is head of the SCF women’s committee.
“It is also a first step for them to become professional cyclists in the future as this type of race helps enhance their skills.”
The original 15-kilometer race was reduced to 10km because of high winds and a sandstorm in the city. Participants used road bikes as the race was held at PNU on the street leading to King Khalid International Airport.
Joud Jamjoum won the individual time trial race in a time of 10 minutes, 47 seconds. She was followed by Muneera Al-Dereiweesh (10:52) and Nouf Alqahtani (10:58).
Sarah Al-Ahmed, a SCF supervisor, said the winner received SR1,500 as consolation prizes were awarded to all participants.
“I was very excited to be part of this women’s cycle race,” said Raghad Al-Anazi, who competed for the first time. “This is a super exciting moment for me, especially in this weather. It was really a challenge for me.”
Princess Mashael said the SCF will continue to support and encourage female cyclists. She also expressed her appreciation for Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority, and his continuing efforts to promote women’s cycling in the Kingdom.