x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE roads closed for weekend's Abu Dhabi Triathlon event

Roads will be closed to vehicles on Saturday as more than 2,000 athletes take to the streets and the sea for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

ABU DHABI // Roads will be closed to vehicles on Saturday as more than 2,000 athletes take to the streets and the sea for the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.

Competitors will swim from the public beach, cycle from Saadiyat Island to Yas Island and back and then run on the Corniche.

"We work extremely closely with a number of government entities to ensure the safety of all involved and to fully minimise disruption to the public," said a spokesman for the triathlon. "We also actively communicate all road closures on the day via the media, stakeholders and our social media channels."

Spectators can watch the action, which starts at 6.40am.

Competitors will swim 3 kilometres, cycle 200km and run 20km. But there are also races for less experienced athletes. The short course is half the length of the full triathlon, while the sprint course is a quarter of the distance, with both offering a team relay option.

Safety is a priority - organisers work with the Critical National Infrastructure Authority and Coastal Protection Authority to protect swimmers, with the Department of Transport assisting with road management.

The Sheikh Khalifa motorway inbound from Yas Island towards Abu Dhabi will be closed to traffic from midnight on Friday, reopening at 6pm on Saturday.

The cycle route passes over Saadiyat Island and on to Yas Island, where athletes completing the short and long course will cycle around Yas Marina Circuit.

The route takes place on closed-off roads, but competitors are asked to be vigilant of pedestrians. Police will be along the entire route to control traffic.

Between Yas West motorway junction, both inbound and outbound, and Yas Leisure Drive will be closed between 2am and 6pm. Yas Leisure Drive inbound from the motorway to Ferrari World will be closed over the same period, but there will be diversions to Water World.

Yas Leisure Drive from Ferrari World past hotels and on to du Forum will be closed between 2am and 2pm. Access will be maintained in the contraflow.

Yas Tunnel inbound towards Yas Marina Circuit will also be closed between 2am and 2pm, and there will be access to Yas Marina only.

The Mina Street junction outbound from the Corniche Road towards Sheikh Zayed Tunnel will be closed between 4am and 6pm, while the Mina Street junction inbound towards the junction of Corniche Road will be closed between 4am and 7pm.

For the run, athletes will head west along the Corniche, across the Breakwater Bridge, past the Heritage Village to the turning point at the Flag Pole, then finish on the public beach.

The course is located along a normally busy pedestrian section of the Corniche, so athletes will be asked to be aware of other users. Marshals will also be keeping it clear.

The Marina Mall junction, to and from the Heritage Village and the national flagpole, will be closed between 4am and 10pm.

The whole Abu Dhabi Corniche and Breakwater offers great spectator viewing areas to watch the cycling and final run section.

"We have also staged the main transition area at the East Plaza [public beach] so fans can get up close to one of the key race moments in complete safety," the spokesman said.

Last year, Rasmus Henning of Denmark won the race in 6 hours, 21 minutes and 44 seconds, while Australia's Nikki Butterfield was the first woman to cross the line in 7 hours and 22 seconds.

rruiz@thenational.ae