Cycling on Dubai's Desert Roads
“Do more sports!” This is probably the most common New Year’s Resolution of all. But let's face it, how many actually keep their good intentions to the end of the year? Our colleagues in Dubai, once again, led by example and ended 2019 with a real tour de force.
For some hard-boiled hobby cyclists in Dubai, the year almost traditionally ends with an almost epic bike race across the hot tarmac of the desert state. For 10 years now, food retailer Spinneys has been organizing the SPINNEYS DUBAI 92 CYCLE CHALLENGE in the United Arab Emirates. Spinneys is one of Hellmann’s largest Perishable Logistics customers; wherein Hellmann provides air and sea solutions from more than 35 origins around the globe into the UAE and Oman.
In collaboration with our global Hellmann Perishable Logistics team, Hellmann UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and HPL-Apollo Los Angeles, Hellmann participated in a sponsorship program at the latest cycling competition. The main cycling event of 100km took place on Friday, November 29, 2019.
Biggest cycle challenge in the Middle East
Team Hellmann UAE rode with over 2,500 cyclists from all over the world in the Middle East’s biggest Cycle Challenge organized by Spinneys. Before to the main event there were 3 Build-Up Rides (BUR) with increasing distances to get cyclist prepared for the final 100km cycle challenge, which happened to be the longest route so far.
The main event started at the Dubai Autodrome before going on the magnificent roads of Dubai with iconic views of the city including the new Expo 2020 site. There was plenty of support from the city’s residents who were cheering on the cyclists in several neighborhoods including two fan zones outside Spinneys Town Centre and the Spinneys in The Villa Centro.
Team Hellmann – proud finishers
This year, Team Hellmann again consisted of some ambitions riders: Gordon Barnard, Stefan Fischer, Aaron Keen, Darren Adams, Rajkumar Varatharaj, Erasmose Aloysius, Nicholas Bridle, Eduard Morrison, Balasubramaniyam, and Hanumanthu Gopalakrishnan. They all prepared intensively for the competition, spent several kilometers in advance on the road or the ergometer in the gym to survive the entire distance. But they could only prepare themselves with difficulty for their greatest adversary: the heat in the desert.
Already at the start of the main race the mercury rose to extreme temperatures. Hanging on until the finish line was the big motivation for most riders. “Keeping up to the speed of the group due to the weather in desert, as it was quite hot by 7.30am, already, and we were running the risk of dehydrating. Still, we all had the spirit to finish the race, which was a great experience as a team”, said Hanumanthu Gopalakrishnan. „The last quarter when you have nothing but determination left to keep going was the biggest challenge. This is when your legs start to feel dead!”, said Nicholas Bridle when he crossed the finish line. “It was a real challenge to maintain the speed till the end and keep up with the group”, said Rajkumar Varatharaj in the same tenor. After all, the Hellmann riders were proud to finish once again. Darren Adams was the fastest of them, completing the 100kms in 03:00:15 hours. Respect!
Hellmann UAE would like to give a massive thank you to our joint sponsors from the Global Hellmann Perishable Logistics team, Hellmann UK, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand as well as HPL-Apollo Los Angeles for their support in making this a wonderful success of collaboration and support!