As a pro cyclist one of the most common questions I get asked is “What is your next race”, or “What are you training for?” Every year the answers have been pretty similar, a national XCO or marathon race, or lately a big stage race. All pretty much the same races on repeat, year after year.
For 2015 however, my answer has been a little different, and has usually been met with an “Oh really!” , or “Where in the world is that?”. Your mind is probably running around with all sorts of different possible answers by now, but to give it some context, this is something completely different, and definitely not in a country you would expect.
Wednesday sees me jet off to Oman. Yes Oman. Oh man! you might say. That is correct. What has me heading out to the desert landscapes surrounding Muscat is a 5 day stage race called the Trans Hajar, which covers 400km and 10 000m ascent in 5 days, traversing the many different types of landscapes that Oman has to offer, all whilst based around the highest peak on the Arabian Peninsula, Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) which stands at an impressive 3020m high.
The amount of climbing in such a short distance has me slightly worried to say the least. It’s only January and here I am diving head first into a 5 day stage race in the desert. What can I say, cyclists are suckers for punishment. Joining me will be a few South African faces who have all snuck into the fold last minute, as well as many keen mountain bikers from all over the globe to compete in this UCI categorised event. The racing is going to get pretty hot out there, lol.
Right now I have nothing much more to say, because I really don’t know what to expect. One thing is for sure, I will be taking lots of photo’s!
Until I return, keep it rubber side down.