CAIRO: The Cross Egypt Challenge (CEC), Egypt’s annual scooter and motorcycle rally, kicked off Friday at 7 a.m. with a 380-kilometer ride from Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria to Ain Sukhna on the Gulf of Suez, CEC Founder and official spokesperson Ahmed el-Zoghby told The Cairo Post Friday.
The rally is scheduled to arrive in Ain Sukhna around 2 p.m.
“The fourth edition of the rally started the 3,000-kilometers route from Alexandria and is scheduled to pass along the shore of the Red Sea before crossing both the Egyptian Eastern and Western Deserts en route to finish the season under the Great Pyramids of Giza, where its closing ceremony is scheduled to take place Nov. 22 on the foot of the Sphinx,” Zoghby said.
The route will proceed as follows: Alexandria-Ain Sukhna, Ain Sukhna-Gouna, Gouna-Marsa Alam, Marsa Alam-Aswan, Aswan-Abu Simbel, Abu Simbel-Aswan, Aswan-Luxor, Luxor-Assiut and finally Assiut to the Giza Pyramids, Zoghby said. He added that 40 riders from 11 foreign countries along with 20 Egyptian riders are participating in the rally.
The event is sponsored by the Egyptian Tourism Promotion Authority (TPA) “in a bid to attract more tourists to Egypt, support alternative sports and revive the country’s main source of income,” Ahmed Shoukry, the chairman of the International Tourism Sector at the General Authority for Tourism, previously told The Cairo Post.
CEC started in 2011 with a nine-day rally from the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in the North of Egypt to the temple of Abu Simbel on the southern border. It spanned a total distance of over 1,700 kilometers, according to Zoghby.
“It is quite challenging to ride a few thousand kilometers on motorcycles and scooters in a challenging cross-country rally, especially if that involves different terrains, cities, deserts, mountains and oases,” he said. “The Cross Egypt Challenge is meant to bring global media attention to Egypt and to confidently announce that Egypt is safe for tourism.”