Mountain Bike race 15.03.2012 Muscat, Oman

This year’s race took place on the well known BT race track which was modified and marked (to fit the BO certification) by the design team M&B, only we rode it counter-clockwise this time.

The heat was just about bearable so glad to have the sponsoring Red Bull to put up the finish line arch + umbrellas where some found the scarce shade but also to distribute the energy drinks - the only allowed doping – thanks!

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Pre-start briefing

Some hard-core riders took off to check the track (allowed but not sure if totally smart) as the race was for long 5 laps for the Men A category (25km), 4 laps for Men B and 3 laps for Women. Even though 50%* of women ridden 4 laps, too (!) (Note of editor: 1 out of 2).

As the clock were counting down to 3pm start time some participants were performing pre-ride rituals (like checking if the beer in the cooler is still cold), others caught up with last minute registration and collected their numbers in Sue’s corner, some attempted quick annual bike service or entertained their families.

As the signal “on the mark” tore the air the field of 30 racers lined up for the final briefing by Marcel and then took off in a big cloud of dust towards the first hills.

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Ooon the maaarks, ... get set...
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Riders took off in a big cloud of dust towards the first hills
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Youcef - future winner on the track

The track had several up- and down-hill as well as technical (understand steep) passages where the riders - apart from few who were born on the saddle – needed a bit of stabilization help by telescoping their legs sideways to manage the slope. But nobody fell (i.e. had not been seen to fall) so well done guys!

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The track had several up- and down-hill as well as technical (understand steep) passages
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Simon and Asim cresting the hill
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Lea fighting "the rock"

In the flatter areas of the track the speed of passing riders was serious so lucky this year there were no semi-domestic animals roaming around to bring the riders’ challenge to a next level.

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James - former nr. 1 on single track

With growing number of kilometers some riders started to overheat so one could see not only liters of water being splashed on the sweating bodies but some riders also stopped and had a break. For others the pause was rather unexpected and caused by the machine break-down or flat tire (Willy!) but luckily there were marshals on the track providing support almost on a professional level (thanks Frans for provided bike).

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Willy - still on own bike - and Asim (winner of Men B) in action

Ultimately, the last lap clocked and the green lightning nr.4 (color of jersey not face) was seen passing the boulder wadi before cutting the finish line in the amazing time of 1:07:13 – that’s average speed 21.4 kmph on technical lap with several short but sharp climbs! Others followed shortly (or later) but all made it safely back and in time for the award ceremony.

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The last lap clocked and the green lightning nr.4 (color of jersey not face) was seen passing the boulder wadi
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Shukri and Bill - 2nd and 3rd in Men B in Finish
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Future of MT Biking ;)

So who was on the podium this year?
Men A - 1. Youcef C., 2. Heiner, 3. James P.
Men B - 1. Asim H., 2. Shukri M., 3. Bill H.
Women - 1. Lea C., 2. Andrea W.
Children (unofficial) - 1. Adam Ch.

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Happy winner of Men A class Youcef ("Finally I have trophy - usually I got only money and had to buy trophy myself!")
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Men B winner Asim - 3rd from previous year - finally stikes gold
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Women and "if I would be men I would be 2nd in Men B" winner Lea

The winners were presented with gold-plated trophies and all got a “Mountain Bike Race 2012” T-Shirt. See you next year again (and bring more friends!).

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All winners (sp)

MANY THANKS to

More pics on:

Words by Michal Samek
Photos by Michal S., Richard Hallet (rh) and Sarath Palewalla (sp)