Emirati cyclist Youssef Mirza is one of the most prominent athletes in the country, being the only cyclist to win the Asian title and raise the UAE flag on that continental platform, and he is currently present as a professional player on the Emirates Cycling Team that presented an exceptional season in 2020. The historic tour “Tour de France Most Powerful” and the most important world tours.
About the year 2020, which is called “the year of difficult challenges” for sports and sporting activities in general, and the most prominent participations and continental and international championships in 2021, Youssef Mirza speaks with us in special statements to the Emirates News Agency “WAM”.
At the outset, Mirza says that the UAE cycling has defeated the emerging “Covid 19” epidemic before it achieved victories and historical achievements in the fields of global competition, as the UAE cycling team did not succumb to the epidemic, and never stopped home training during the period from March to June, And that, starting in June 2020, and with the first day to open the way for travel, the team headed to Europe and set up several strong foreign camps that witnessed the accurate application of the highest standards of precautionary measures, and accordingly the team was better prepared to compete in the tournaments it participated in last summer, which culminated in the historic victory. Tour de France, the most expensive title in the history of Emirati cycling.
He added: “Winning the Tour de France title and the great joy that accompanied it on the Emirati sports street contributed to changing society’s view of cycling, and encouraged all officials to reconsider the importance of this sport, giving it the attention it deserves, and most importantly of all the joy of our elders and leaders for this achievement. At a time when most sports stopped due to the Corona pandemic, and bicycles were the only ones that made a smile on everyone in the country during that period, and here I have to thank the senior management of the Emirates Cycling Team, and Her Excellency Matar Al-Yabhouni, Chairman of the Board of Directors, for having developed a professional strategy to support the team With the best elements, then provide them with the best environment for training and preparation, and the best training programs, trainers and technical cadres.
He continued: “As for me, I participated in the Spain race and made great use of the level of international professional experience, and I participated in the tour of Saudi Arabia and was an important element in the UAE team achieving an advanced position, as I supported my Portuguese colleague Roy Costa in occupying first place in the first stage, and the support continued in the second stages.” And the third is until he retains the first place, and we must know that in cycling races at this professional level the individual’s role in collective achievement dissolves, meaning that the team includes a group of riders, and each of them has a role in supporting his colleague in an integrated manner.
Regarding his current activities, Mirza said: “I currently train in the Emirates on a daily basis, and the rest of the team members are training in their countries, and they will arrive in the country on January 6, to start preparing for the challenges of the new season, which will be full of major challenges, because the International Federation’s calendar is full of events, starting from the circumambulation. Saudi Arabia, which will take place from 2 to 6 February 2020, then the Oman Tour from 9 to 14 February, passing the Emirates Tour from 21 to 27 February, then the Asian Championship in the Emirates in March, then Cecilia Tour in Italy from 1 to 4 April, then circumnavigate Frankfurt in Germany from May 1 to 4, then circumnavigate Norway from May 19 to 24, then the International Race of Lausanne in Switzerland on June 27, and the end of the rest of the major world tours in Italy, France and Spain during the second half of the year, and therefore I consider 2021 from The most important years in the UAE cycling career.
At the level of the national team and the most prominent challenges in 2021 .. Mirza explained: “The Asian Cycling Championship will be held in the UAE next March, and I hope to be one of the influential elements in it, and for me I am physically and mentally ready to participate in it, and I think that the rest of my teammates are in the national team. The national team is also ready … adding in 2018 I won the title and achieved first place in Asia in an unprecedented achievement, and in the same tournament the following year, I could not participate because I was injured, while the tournament was not held in 2020 due to pandemic conditions, and I hope to regain the Asian title in 2021, Especially since it will be held in the Emirates. “