Trans Hajar 2012 - Day 4

(from point of view of "photographer")

Pls for more info about Trans Hajar 2012 follow the link to their official web site www.transhajar.com

Short uprocessed 3-4 mins video from Day 4 - pls click here

Group photo
Group photo

4th and last stage was “only” approx. 75 km long to allow enough time for processing of results, ceremony and prize giving. Originally this stage was planned to start from village of Mazaree and take riders thru picturesque Wadi Daykah and Wadi Abyieen with beautiful rock formations and green pools and flowing water, all tightly squeezed by jagged Hajar mountains. However organizers decided to change the plan which was pity but indeed it would be logistical nightmare to transfer all circus – hence the stage was combination of first TT day (just in reverse) – single track and “rock garden” - and Arqi loop.

On start line
On start line

The pack torn apart already after initial 2 kilometers on steep climb full of loose sharp rocks – Rob Barel (overall leader) cycled it almost from beginning (video of his amazing style you can see on you tube), in 2/3 up the slope joined him other 4 leading riders. The rest of the field pushed their bikes fighting the incline.

Riders approaching steep climb full of loose sharp rocks
Riders approaching "steep climb full of loose sharp rocks"
Rob Barel (World Champion Long Distance triathlon: 1994) cycled it almost from beginning
Rob Barel (World Champion Long Distance triathlon: 1994) cycled it almost from beginning
Up the hill
Up the hill
The rest of the field pushed their bikes fighting the incline
The rest of the field pushed their bikes fighting the incline

My next position was “rock face” but there was such a huge difference in performance of riders between leaders and slow riders in the back – within 2-3 km they made advantage of another kilometer, that till I got there (even on motorbike) leaders already disappeared behind the horizon.

Small group of riders approaching technical rock face
Small group of riders approaching technical "rock face"
Female nepalese rider on single track section
Female nepalese rider on single track section

There was not much surprises on Arqi loop – the field just stretched, riders riding in small groups.

Arqi loop – the field just stretched, riders riding in small groups
Arqi loop – the field just stretched, riders riding in small groups

Unfortunately my motor bike (weapon of choice for todays single tracks) got some problems so I had to be picked up by trailer, but I still had time to trail the bike to start/finish area and catch leaders playing roadies games, swerving from one side of road to another like road sprinters already 5 kms before Finish. Finally in front formed group of 3 riders and winner of the last stage was decided in final sprint. Overall leader Rob Barel arrived just approx. half minute back, but it was more than enough to keep on top of GC.

Final sprint
Final sprint
Overall winner arriving with small time loss
Overall winner arriving with small time loss
Satisfied 2nd and 3rd place holders
Satisfied 2nd and 3rd place holders from Spain
Stretching legs after Finish
Stretching legs after Finish

Slowly more and more riders trickled in and here are few more pics from the track just few kms from Finish.

Marcel B. is checking situation 2 kms before Finish
Marcel B. is checking situation 2 kms before Finish
One of small groups led by Omani rider
One of small groups led by Omani rider
Riders enjoyed lot of support from local boys
Riders enjoyed lot of support from local boys
Omani nature - beautifull but harsh to plants, people ... and riders
Omani nature - beautifull but harsh to plants, people ... and riders

After all riders were in Finish the prize giving ceremony with presence of dignitaries from Oman Cycling Association was held, assuring organizers that “next year the event will be bigger and better”.

Time for photos after Finish - Spanish train and future of Oman
Time for photos after Finish - "Spanish train" and future of Oman
From low budget event
From low budget event to event backed by Muscat Municipality and Oman Cycling Association within a year
Trophies waiting for new owners
Trophies waiting for new owners
Female cat winner - Rachel
Female cat winner - Rachel
Male cat winner Rob Barel
Male cat winner Rob Barel - his list of achievements is longer then our usual MTB rides!
The winners, the dignitaries and organizers
The winners, the dignitaries and organizers
It was all smiles after succesfull event
It was all smiles after succesfull event for organizing team
l-r: CEO of main sponsor Byrne, Dave, Lake, Alistair and Steve