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More than 30 riders gathered shortly after the sun rose Sunday to contest the Lebanese Cycling Championship time trial in Beirut's Ashrafieh neighborhood.Teams arrived from around Lebanon, and together they prepared energy drinks and discussed tactics while race officials set up a tent and distributed the riders' race numbers.Shortly after 8 a.m. police officers, who were working closely with race officials, mounted their motorcycles and closed the highway to traffic, allowing the riders to race in safety. Unlike a road race, in which all the competitors start together, time trial riders start separately and race against the clock. The riders gave everything, powering down the abnormally quiet highway alongside the dry Beirut River.
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