The team’s goal is to be the leading organisation in self-supported ultra-cycling and with a consolidated 7-year experience of building bicycle expeditions in South America, Europe and Africa including one Guinness World, BikingMan is bringing the race to Oman.
On February 25, 2018, the Sultanate will witness at least 100 bikers racing on a 1,000 km loop starting off at the lush Al Nahda Resort in Barka going through the historical and well-loved site of Nizwa, the challenging terrains of Jabal Shams, the stark landscape of Ras al Jinz and back to busy Muscat.
These bikers will come from all over the world, seasoned athletes who will have five days to complete the challenges which are set to test not only their limits but their dedication.
“We have 60 athletes from 19 different countries so far. We have no requirements to join, if you can ride 200 kms in one day, then you can finish this race within the time limit! It’s all about daring to push your own limit,” shared Andreas Fabricius, Race Director for the Middle East/Asia of BikingMan — a 5-man team organization, based in France, which designs and organizes epic self-supported ultra-cycling events around the globe — in an email interview.
Fabricius said that the race will start at three in the morning right after the gun goes off which signals its official commencement.
“We like to bring athletes to challenging and amazing locations, not necessarily known to the big audience,” Fabricius shared when asked why they created BikingMan Oman.
He added, “Oman is treasure not very well known outside the Middle East. I have been travelling to most of the countries in the region for business over the last 6 years, and having seen what Oman has to offer it wasn’t very hard to convince Axel Carion (Bikingman CEO) to join me in Oman to test a route we had prepared. We went in May this year to ride the route and were absolutely stunned. BikingMan Oman was born when we climbed Jabal Shams.”
Fabricius also shared that the weather condition of the Sultanate will be a challenging factor that contributes to the difficulty of the race.
“They can expect desert heat during the day, and will surely be surprised by the cold temperatures at night on top of Jabal Shams. The actual climb up is also something absolutely spectacular, stunning but also brutal,” he said.
With several successful races under their belt including organising the IncaDivide, a 3.500km long race that started in Quito, Ecuador and finishing in Cusco, Peru, through the Andes, Fabricius team understands the right blend and balance of a good race.
“We wanted to bring athletes to the various kinds of landscapes that Oman has to offer, but not necessarily make it too long. Five days’ maximum are normally what people can manage without putting too much strain on work or family life,” he said.
Although there were several challenges which included “finding the right route making sure we are in line with permits needed, organising start location, talking to local sponsors, making sure the finisher party will be amazing etc,” his team was happy that they had some very productive discussions with the Omani Ministry of Tourism.
He cited, “they have been very helpful and positive since the first time we got in contact. We have also had great help from Red Bull Oman who are helping with logistics during the race.”
“Most people coming to Oman [for the race] has never been to the country before, and they will surely be surprised by the hospitality of the Omani people. When Axel and I went to reckon the route in May this year we had several occasions where Omani’s stopped us and asked if we wanted to put our bikes in the back of their cars and catch a lift,” he shared.
As for the prizes, Fabricius shared that there are three categories: solo male, solo female and team (maximum of two people).
Winners of each category will receive prizes from our sponsors Ortlieb, ISM and OPEN. The Top 3 finishers in each category will also get a free slot for the 2019 edition of BikingMan Oman.
For additional information, visit www.bikingman.com/oman.
YERU EBUEN & TiITASH CHAKRABORTY