Spinneys 92 Challenge raises awareness for worthy cause
Over 1,600 cyclists pedalled 92 kilometres around the streets of Dubai in the 4th Annual Spinneys Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge.
The event this year attracted appearances from three-time Tour de France top-10 finisher Sean Kelly, and triple world mountain bike downhill racer Petra Wiltshire.
But neither Sean nor Petra could keep up with the fastest finisher, Duncan Clarke, a Dubai-based helicopter pilot from Canada. He completed the course in one hour, 51.06 seconds.
“It’s a great thrill to be the fastest finisher, and it’s a real pleasure to take part in this event,” said Duncan, a GMS Cycle Club member.
Another GMS cyclist, Louisa Lobigs, was the fastest female finisher in a time of 2:06.24.
“I’m really delighted, it was an awesome event, and being the fastest female is fantastic,” said Louisa, from Australia, and a sports medical researcher based in Qatar.
An impressed Kelly said: “It’s a lovely event and well organised, and it’s great to see so many people taking part, especially those who do it for pleasure rather than as a time challenge.”
Petra added: “I’ve loved every minute of this, and I’ll be back next year. It’s a fantastic event, and I’m so glad I accepted the invitation to be involved. I really enjoyed it.”
Vic McAnkreh flew over from Glasgow with friends especially to take part in the challenge. He is helping raise awareness of a new organisation, ‘Finding Your Feet’, which has been set up by his friend Corinne Hutton, who lost both her hands and legs after suffering from life threatening acute pneumonia.
Vic was one of 60 riders here to help raise awareness of the organisation, with Corinne there to support them.
He said: “Corinne’s brother, Scott, lives and works in Dubai, and he told us all about this event. We’re enthusiastic cyclists, and we’ve had a fantastic time.
“Most importantly we’re raising the profile of an important cause, on behalf of a very inspirational woman.”
Corinne added: “It’s been a pleasure coming out to Dubai, everybody’s made me so welcome.”
Challenge director Stewart Howison said the involvement of those supporting Hutton reflected the diversity of the cyclists taking part in the challenge.
“The joy of this event is that we attract elite cyclists who take it very seriously and want to post the quickest time, but also social cyclists who do it for the challenge, and because they love cycling,” Howison said.