Aiming to stay true to its ambitions for global growth, Haute Route has added its first ever Middle Eastern event to its 2019 calendar. The brand new three-day Haute Route Oman event will be held from Friday 1st – Sunday 3rd March 2019. With two classic stages and one individual time trial, the new event will aim to offer a scenic experience in a country renowned for its desert landscapes, towering mountains and crystal-clear waters.
Like all Haute Route events, it will feature timed and ranked stages for an amateur peloton of cyclists from all over the world. In keeping with Haute Route’s proposition, riders of all abilities will be treated to a pro-like experience with full logistical, mechanical and medical support, rolling road security, film crews and post-race massages to ensure participants can focus exclusively on the riding.
A release from Haute Route notes that ‘Oman has a well-deserved reputation for the warmth of its welcome, the hospitality of its people and the authenticity of its culture.’ Described as a beacon of tranquillity, Oman and its capital Muscat have been named as ‘must-see’ destinations by both National Geographic and Lonely Planet. With daily direct flights from most European capitals, Muscat is well plugged into international air networks.
With the Tour of Oman now a staple in the racing calendar of most World Tour teams, the region’s scenery, well-kept roads and developed infrastructure for tourism make it the ‘perfect choice for Haute Route’s first Middle Eastern event’.
Just as importantly for Haute Route Oman participants, conditions in March offer comfortable mid 20°C temperatures – billed as a perfect opportunity for a northern hemisphere winter getaway and some warm weather riding.
A recent March test event demonstrated Oman’s suitability to join the Haute Route portfolio. “This is the best cycling I have done in a very long time,” said Ade Hill, UK, one of the invited test event riders. “Having the opportunity to escape the winter to ride my bike in such incredible scenery is truly amazing. True to its DNA, Haute Route Oman will definitely be one of the most challenging but the views are worth every single minute of pain.”
The Haute Route Oman course will take riders through some of the most scenic parts of the Sultanate and will include some of the country’s most challenging climbs.
Rémi Duchemin, founder and CEO of the Haute Route series said “We are delighted to partner with Oman Sail for the latest move in our global expansion of the Haute Route amateur cycling series. Adding Haute Route Oman to our 2019 calendar is a perfect way to confirm our international growth ambitions and our presence, during the north hemisphere winter, on a new continent. Our main objective is to deliver a unique experience for amateur cyclists, and with Oman’s unique environment and welcoming culture we know Haute Route Oman will be another must-do event for riders coming from all continents.”
“The Haute Route has always selected striking and iconic venues around the world for their events and having the Sultanate of Oman added to the programme in 2019 is a great achievement that we can celebrate,” said David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail, an Oman event management organisation which will be co-organiser of next year’s event. “The test event proved that the demanding terrain and breath-taking landscapes have enormous appeal for cyclists and that this will provide one of the most challenging routes in the Haute Route calendar.”
Oman Sail is an equal-opportunity national initiative established in 2008 that uses the power of sport to contribute to Oman’s socio-economic development and promote the country as a high-end tourism destination. Alongside international sailing events, Oman Sail also manages a wide variety of mass participation competitions including the Al Mouj Muscat Marathon, the Muscat Century Ride cycling race and Oman by UTMB. It has a long-standing relationship with Haute Route creators OC Sport.