Archive for May, 2014

Porto Soukhna Ride 2014 First Chapter

Ridden May 16, 2014

This is no doubt the toughest stage somebody could have proposed; how nice from Jun to do that and leave us after the third chapter. Now we have to keep this traditional ordeal twice a year, this being the 4th time. We call it the Queens stage of the year. It takes 150 km to get to the foot of the almost 3 km climb with inclinations of up to 10%, at scorching 30 deg heat of noon on a May day: an inferno.

Starters from Maadi or beyond were Ibrahim, Omar Khairy, Thomas, Samy, Osama and Luis. From the toll booth a few others joined: Mohamed Elsaied, Swaleh, Ekramy, and Pascal from the Restaurant at km 74. We lost Ibrahim Helal at the Jiffy Lube, who touched his front wheel with somebody else’s and got 5 spokes torn. He spent creative hours to make the bike ride able and returned to home from there. Pity, I am sure we would have made it to the finish line, which was achieved only by half of the tally, as will be reported below.

The Sky Mall climb

On Sun 3/23/2014 12:39 pm Thomas wrote: “. I will no leave Egypt before I get the KOM back for the Skymall…” A pretty risky statement. And his return to Germany could have well got jeopardized, as it was perhaps the closest show down we have heard of in this venue. Omar opened the duel like a rocket, but got chased down within a few hundred meters. There was a car sport event going on in the Sky Mall, and going through security folks and traffic at the end was a further challenge. Despite being stopped for a while, Thomas took the climb by only a few bike lengths ahead of Omar at the end. Well, now he can leave Egypt some distant day without losing face before the CCC. Congratulations for his second KOM on this mythical slope!

We have seen different dramas on this climb: riders carrying the bike, others collapsing or throwing up at the finish line, hanging to cars in the way up, or with sun stroke, but we hadn’t experienced before two triathletes bonking in the middle of the climb. The two didn’t make the time limit and are out of the photo, but we saw them in the way down back on the bike and struggling hard, and learned they finished after all. The photo shows the five proud finishers within the time limit.


Sky Mall finishers from left: Luis, Omar, Pascal, Thomas & Samy

Sky Mall finishers from left: Luis, Omar, Pascal, Thomas & Samy

Other awards
The longest ride award goes to Omar Khairy again, with 196 km or so, from Helwan to Porto Soukhna and later back to home from Maadi. A real devourer of kilometers!

The best “Domestique” award is taken by Pascal for controlling the peloton on the coastal leg, reeling in the leapfrog and making it easier for the climbers. Thanks also for transportation, with own constructed rack for bicycles, very ingenious.

“Combativité”: Ekramy, coming back from a long grave illness, got into a break away before Ain Soukhna and paid for it later on the climb, but made it to the finish line after all.

Next chapter will be in November or so, but the trend shows that the Oldies will end up yielding to the Youngsters, due to take honors if they continue doing such impressive progress or come back from unfortunate injuries reported earlier. Keep on the hard work and love for the bike.