MUSCAT: AXEL Carion is a record breaking French explorer. He specialises in extreme ultra distance cycling and the organisation of ultra-cycling self-supported races.
He also inspires people through talks, stories and articles about his expeditions. At 35 he is energetic and strong built. A few weeks back he was on a 1,000-km recon ride in France which left him physically smashed. Yet he is raring to go.
He is the founder of BikingMan, first unsupported ultra-cycling world championship which brings adventurous people on the most challenging cycling scene on Earth.
Yes, he is the guy behind the adventure BikingMan in Oman, one of the toughest races in the Middle East.
It was only due to his efforts that BikingMan in Oman was held in February 22-27 this year alike in 2019. Due to COVID-19 in March and the subsequent lockdown the French media took up the coverage only later after the lockdown period ended.
The French national television France 2, broadcasted for the first time in its history, a TV series of 5 episodes featuring the BikingMan ultra-cycling event.
French TV gave an extremely positive coverage for Oman and telecast a total of 5 episodes from June 8 to 12 which had a whopping audience.
With more than 22 million viewers in total, the TV series has been acclaimed as a huge success and promoted the stunning areas of the Sultanate which includes Muscat, Jebel Shams climb, Rimal Sharqiyah desert, Sur and the Arabian coast.
Focused on three French people namely the team of Clémence, Jean Jacques Raffi and Jacques Barge, the series showcased an impressive range of landscapes and the numerous challenges of the BikingMan exploration race.
For three years the BikingMan has been selecting Oman as the inaugural stage of the ultra-cycling World Series and hopes to be back again in 2021.
This year, BikingMan Oman was supported by Oman Air, Omantel, Europcar Oman, Jebel Shams resort and Shangri-La Barr al Jissah Muscat.
About the TV coverage, Axel says that it has been the first time in the French television history that BikingMan and ultra-cycling received such a huge coverage and it is an amazing sign for the sport.
Regarding plans for the year, Axel mentions that he still has two Biking Man events for the 2020 calendar. These are in Portugal in September and Corsica in October with around 300 riders signed up.
“I have also several bike expeditions in Europe to promote the BikingMan experience. I sincerely hope that BikingMan Oman 2021 will take place as we have a very high interest from the public on the event,” he says confidently.
Rania Khodr, Director, Oman Tourism, France, says it was an excellent event. “The event covers something different and showcased another image of Oman which helps in eco-tourism and I am glad to have this type of coverage which will help promote the Sultanate in a different way.”
She further adds it was the best environmental way of promoting tourism, and encouraged Axel to come back to Oman perhaps next year.
“The value of coverage was very high and also millions of people touched by the event made it memorable,” she mentions.
All eyes are now on the next BikingMan Oman, the third edition, which will be watched for eagerly, all made possible by Axel.
The event is a 1,000-km single stage ultra-cycling race and the first event of this kind of the Middle-East.
BikingMan Oman has been featured in many international media and is now acclaimed as a top-class endurance event.