Gulf Daily News
June 1 2009
BAHRAIN's Ahmed Abdulla Al Hazza came sixth overall while host country's Laurent Mosti finished on top in the senior race of the Compiegne Ride championship held yesterday at the Compiegne Endurance Village near Paris.
Riding Kheopsy Du Pilat, Al Hazza completed this six-stage 160-km race in sixth place with a total ride time of eight hours, four minutes and 48 seconds with a speed average of 19.508 kms per hour.
The Bahrain team were led by Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation (Breef) president Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Other riders were Al Khaldiya Stables captain Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Yousef Taher, Ghazi Al Dossary, Raed Mahmood Al Saad, Jaffar Mirza and Al Hazza.
The Bahrainis, who were represented by seven of its best riders, finished third overall behind champions France and runners-up Italy.
More than 70 riders from Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, the UAE, France and Bahrain competed in this annual event which got underway at 7am (Bahrain time).
The event was part of the Bahraini team's preparations for the European Championship in Italy and World Championship in the US which will both be held next year.
The hosts dominated the race as Mosti was the eventual winner on Khandela Des Vialette. He was followed by compatriot Guy Dumas in second place and Jean Philip Frances, also of France, was third.
The Bahraini team encountered a series of unfortunate incidents by having several riders eliminated at different stages of the race.
Shaikh Khalid was out after the second stage after falling from his horse Waterlea Oliver. Shaikh Khalid, the Breef first vice-president, was taken to the hospital near the village for medial check-ups.
Shaikh Nasser also had to pull out in the fourth stage after his horse Kango II was eliminated due to injury along with Taher and Al Dossary.
The other Bahrainis' placings were Mirza (8:11:55) in 13th place and Al Saad (8:26:47) 15th overall.
The championship also featured a race for junior riders held last Saturday and was over 130kms. It was won by Roman Lafaure of France with compatriots Justin Mourou and Laetitia Goncalves finishing second and third, respectively.
Yesterday's seniors race, which concluded at around 5.30pm, was followed by the prize-giving ceremony during which the top riders in both the race were honoured.
Shaikh Khalid started the race well and managed to complete the first stage in second place while Shaikh Nasser was ninth overall.
Caroline led the stage in 47:31 and with a speed average of 19.141 kms per hour. Third was Laurent Mosti (48:46), also of France, followed by compatriot Cecile Totain (48:51) in fourth place. Shaikh Nasser moved up to sixth while Shaikh Khalid went down to seventh.
Caroline maintained her strong performance in the second stage which also ended in her favour with a total ride time of 3:05:13. Mosti (3:06.05) jumped to second place and ahead of Frances (3:06.30) of France in third place. Shaikh Nasser made further progress by moving up to fifth.
No changes took place after the third stage where the same three riders held on to their positions with Carolin (4:44.08) keeping her lead as Mosti (3:44.49) and Frances (3:45.02) stayed second and third, respectively.
Totain (4:45.05) remained fourth and ahead of fifth-placer Shaikh Nasser (3:45.07).
In the fourth stage, Caroline (7:01.52) stayed on top. Mosti (7:02.23) was also second while Totain (4:45.05) leapfrogged Frances to clinch third spot.
The penultimate stage saw Caroline (8:42.22) extend her lead with Mosti (8:43.26) holding on top second while Dumas (8:03.53) steering Mohac to climb up to third while Totain (8:44.47) went down to fourth.
However, Mosti staged a superb comeback in the sixth and final stage where he took over the lead from Caroline.
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