Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar were the first to the host the series, with plans to expand to cities across the kingdom this year
The first public official women’s cycling race series in Saudi Arabia, which saw over 1.000 people take part in three cities, will become a quarterly event, with further locations planned, according to the president of Saudi Sports for All Federation, Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud.
Jeddah, Riyadh and Al-Khobar were the first to the host the series, which was organised by the Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) and supported by the Saudi Cycling Federation.
The sport is growing across the kingdom, with official figures showing that 1.1% of the population actively cycling on a weekly basis - one-third of which are female.
Prince Khaled, speaking to Arabian Business, said the SFA “is proud to fulfil our mandate of active people as part of the Quality of Life program under Saudi Vision 2030”.
“This cycling series for women is going to be an ongoing quarterly undertaking and will expand to multiple cities soon,” he revealed.
“We want people to simultaneously be healthy and fit and we want them to claim Saudi spaces as their own. Sports like cycling are one way that we take ownership of our places and the participants in these ongoing competitions and activities are courageous and quite literally trail blazers,” he added.
The opening event was in Riyadh, at Princess Nora University in Riyadh. The first leg of the series attracted 800 participants with three top ranked cyclists awarded valuable prizes. First place winner Nadiah Skoukdi was followed by runner up Floria Martias and third place winner Ahlam Alzaid.
The second cycling race in Jeddah, the second was held at Al-Joharah Stadium, with more than 200 women competing. First place winner was Floria Martias, runner-up Arwa Alamoudi, and third place went to Samar Rahbeini.
The third and final race in the three-part series was held at the Corniche in Al-Khobar, which saw athletes Nadia Skoukdi, Floria Marinas, and Nasima Siddikui awarded first, second and third place respectively.
As part of the Saudi Vision 2030, the SFA is looking to participation in physical activity by 40% by providing access for all members of society to take part in a wide range of sporting activities.