Mountain Biking

Amazing start to Qatar mountain bike season – The Peninsula Qatar

Riders in action during the ?rst race of the year.

Doha: The mountain biking community of Qatar enjoyed an amazing start to the 2021 when the first cycling race of the year took the form of a mountain bike mini endurance race at the weekend at the crowd’s favorite Duhail MTB Trail. The event is the 2nd race of the QCF-UFMBQ mountain bike race series for season 20/21, which was organised by the United Filipino Mountain Bikers Qatar (UFMBQ) in collaboration with the Qatar 
Cycling Federation (QCF).  Over the years, UFMBQ has stepped up the level of organising grassroots level MTB racing events, making their races sought-after by the local mountain biking communities.

The event last Friday was another sold-out like the Al Khor race which was held a few weeks ago. Titled as the “90 Minutes of DuHELL”, this aggressive cross country mountain bike race attracted a lot of riders spread around 15 different categories that made the race a wide competition. 

The 1.5-hour race duration might not be that hellish as the traditional “3H of DuHell”, but the current 5 km race route is so aggressively unforgiving that is still enough for this event to earn its right to be named DuHell race.

The event beats the record for a grassroots level MTB race organised by UFMBQ. The event highlighted the highest number of children racing, the highest numbers of female participants, and the highest numbers of beginners. And for 2 consecutive events, we experienced sold-out registrations days before the deadlines.

This just proved that mountain biking in Qatar is still gaining popularity.  

The resumption of the Megaman category was another foreground that has garnered a warm comeback, giving the opportunity to heavyweight riders to compete with each other. Duhail trail, with its close proximity to the city of Doha, is still one of the crowd’s favorite trails. This is where mountain bike racing started a decade ago. The recent developments and constructions in the area had led to the shrinking of the trail compared to how it was used to be. Duhail trail became stale of mountain bike events at some point in time.

The present version might not resemble the Duhail Trail of the past, but kudos to Camp Banayad boys for jam-packing the shrunken version of the trail with lots of features transforming the old boring long trail into a fun and action-packed race circuit. With Qatar hosting the Asian Games 2030, we are wishing that this route would become a permanent XCO-MTB trail in the future.

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