Race is on > 25th March 2022

Al Adaid Desert Challenge Returns For Its Sixth Running

Al Adaid Desert Challenge Returns For Its Sixth Running

“That was harder than an Ironman 70.3” is how one competitor described Friday’s sixth running of the Al Adaid Desert Challenge. A view matched by Abderrahim Ghayour, the Moroccan who has won the last three editions of the running category. “Much harder this year”, he claimed “More sand and softer and the wind was so strong.”

Ghayour’s time of 1:15:19 for the twenty kilometer run was certainly faster than his previous attempts but that was due to organisers cutting nine kilometers off the distance to take account of the hotter temperatures with the event being held one month later than usual.

Representing the new organisation team, Mubarak Al Mohannadi, Vice President of Qatar Cyclists Center explained, “We faced challenges from the Corona pandemic and the speed of obtaining approval from the concerned authorities in organizing the race on the planned date.  But this race of running and off-road bikes across difficult desert terrain is one of our main focusses. We are glad to have been able to hold it after missing last year, even if it was short notice for competitors.”

For the same reason, the race didn’t feature on the UCI’s calendar this year. Nevertheless, Slovenian Gregor Sikosek made a return visit after placing second in 2020. He completed the 32 kilometer mountain bike route in 1:28:56, finishing at the Al Majles Desert Resort almost seven minutes clear of Mouchine Rhaili with another visitor, Croatian Rapo Vedran placing third.


Four German sport management students visiting Qatar on a two-week exchange visit were glad to have discovered the challenge. Francesca Klein, who placed fourth in the women’s run, stating, “Yes! We loved it and would come back again for this. In fact, I now hope to work in Qatar after graduation.”

The race starts fast with racers forming packs and drafting like a in road race but in conditions such as on Friday, the race is decided on who is strong and has technique to ride the soft sand. No wonder then that one of the stand-out performances of the day came from Finnish Olympian, Pia Sundstedt. Pia easily won the women’s veteran mountain bike category but actually went faster than the third placed man.

Another top Nordic veteran, Sara Talia won the women’s run overall in a time of 1:34:17. She reflected, “Sometimes in a race you forget that you’re racing. You’re just in the moment, you are one with the elements around you. It’s just you, your body, mind and soul connecting. A moment of magic!”

Although very atypical as a cross country mountain bike course, the sands and sabkha of Khor Al Adaid seem a fitting place to select Qatar’s national mountain bike champion. This year that honour goes to Nayef Al Messallam who caps a strong domestic season with this result, beating Abdullah Al Jaaidi and Marwan Al Jalham.


Mr Mubarak Al Mohannadi concluded, “The best thing is that no competitors were injured during the race, thanks to the success of the excellent organization. And despite the difficulties this year, the number of participants was more than before all the COVID disruption.

“I would like to thank all the participants, contributors and volunteers for the success and organization of the race and see you next year.”


Qatar MTB National Championship

  1. AL – MESALLAM Nayef 1:42:32
  2. ALJAAIDI Abdullah 1:42:45
  3. ALJALHAM Marwan 1:44:22


MTB – Men

  1. SIKOSEK Gregor 1:28:56
  2. RAPO Vedran 1:41:40
  3. LABASTIDA Antonio 1:41:41


MTB Women

  2. MUNDALA Editha 2:25:14
  3. BLOOR Analie 2:43:12


MTB Veteran Men

  1. RHAILI Mouhcine 1:35:31
  2. BUSTOS DEL VALLE Andres Pablo 1:46:28
  3. HARTESCU Paul 1:46:55


MTB – Veteran Women

  1. SUNDSTEDT Pia 1:40:03
  2. SPOSI Daniela 2:06:34
  3. MELVILLE Julie 2:07:19


Fat Bike – Men

  1. ALJAAIDI Hamad 1:44:36
  2. AL-BORDAINI Eid 1:45:38
  3. JUSTO Jumel 1:52:04


Fatbike – Women

  1. BERNARD HULATT Leah 2:03:30
  2. GHARIB Sara 3:28:56
  3. ESTACIO Maricar 3:43:11


Fat Bike – Veteran men

  1. BROWN Leslie 1:46:29
  2. SADYKOV Rustam 1:52:12
  3. GRAY Matt 2:05:36


Run – men

  1. GHAYOUR Abderrahim 1:15:19
  2. DABLAINVILLE Valentin 1:15:31
  3. AHNIDA Abdelaziz 1:15:38


Run – women

  1. BAKER Daisy 1:36:32
  2. PAGE Rebecca 1:38:23
  3. AYURO Rossyle 1:47:44


Run – veteran men

  1. MUSUNGU Chris 1:31:47
  2. HESHAM Mostafa 1:34:23
  3. CLUNE Steve 1:35:37


Run – veteran women

  1. TALIA Sara 1:34:17
  2. BOYCE Aoife 2:02:38
  3. DELA ROSA Riza 2:10:00


Duathlon – Men

  1. ALSABBAGH Mohamad 2:10:42
  2. HADDAJ Aziz 2:13:00
  3. WOUTERS Kees 2:20:28


Duathlon Women

  1. BUSHELL Isobel 2:54:25
  2. PORRAS Cristel 3:55:33
  3. MOLINA Marie 3:57:26


Duathlon veteran men

  1. CAMERON Ewan 2:57:48
  2. ALSHAMARI Talal 3:05:33
  3. MUBARAK Nasser 3:06:38


Duathlon Veteran Women

  1. STADLER Andrea 2:59:31
  2. ALGERGAWI Eman 3:43:06
  3. CALARA Vanessa 3:47:51


Boys U12 MTB

  1. MELVILLE Ruaridh 0:07:20
  2. NETTERBERG Tyler 0:08:25
  3. MILLER Noah 0:08:57


Boys U16 MTB

  1. NAVERA Jared 0:09:06
  2. ABDUL GHANI Younes 0:09:07
  3. AL MARAGHI Abdulahadi 0:09:12


Girls U12 MTB

  1. MELVILLE Isla 0:06:11
  2. STINGERIE Madison 0:10:00Mountain Bike – Veteran Men


Full results at www.aladaid.qa/live/


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