Words: Influence Sports Media
30 January - 3 February 2015: The fifth edition of Oman's Trans Hajar Mountain Bike multi-day stage race kicked off today with an Individual Time Trial in the breath-taking surroundings of Jebel Shams, Arabia’s highest peak (3,028 metres). Leading the pack by 1 minute 40 seconds in the Male Open Category is South African 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic hopeful, James Reid, and in the Open Female Category Hungary’s Eszter Doza has a 2 minute lead over her nearest rival, last year’s winner Hannele Steyn (RSA).
Courtesy of: Influence Sports Media
Having recently joined Team RECM and making his Trans Hajar debut, James Reid is already enjoying this new challenge, "We have similar terrain to Oman in South Africa, but this is quite different in many ways as well.
“The race has already been a lot of fun – you’re always exploring and finding new routes. You can see the organisers have really thought about it and I’ve heard they have a whole line up for the rest of the week. Today was hard and a nice way to open the racing. It’s always hard when there’s a tar road climb especially when there are two laps.
“I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week – I think it is going to be an exciting couple of days and a completely new experience for someone from Africa”.
With fresh legs, competitors pushed themselves to the limit completing two laps of a rocky 21km loop around the ‘Sint Bowl’, a 1,000m high plateau between Jebel Kwar and Jebel Shams, before descending a fast single-track section and climbing back to the camp to finish. Dry conditions made for some dusty racing in temperatures of 27 degrees Celsius.
Open Male Classification - top ten results
1. James Reid (RSA) 1:25:52
2. Jason Bryan (IRL) 1:27.32
3. Andrew Hill (RSA) 1:27.38
4. Max Knox (RSA) 1:27.39
5. Kevin Evans (RSA) 1:27.39
6. Craig Boyes (RSA) 1:28.20
7. Lucian Logigan (ROM) 1:30.38
8. Tudor Oprea (ROM) 1:30.47
9. Renay Groustra (RSA) 1:30.58
10. Matthew Page (GBR) 1.39.56
Open Female Classification - top five results
1. Eszter Dosa (HUN) 1:43.47
2. Hannele Steyn (RSA) 1:45.52
3. Catherine Williamson (GBR) 1:49.38
4. Michelle Guerin (NZL) 2:17.46
5. Anna Blanton (USA) 2:28.50
Tomorrow’s racing will see the 74-strong international field of pro and amateur riders tackle the longest and toughest stage of this all-new 400-kilometre endurance race – a gruelling 127 kilometres! The route winds its way across the highest mountain pass in Oman giving competitors a stunning snapshot of this uniquely beautiful country.
Written and Video Race Reports will be distributed at the end of each day’s racing. To follow the 2015 Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race as it happens keep an eye on www.transhajar.com and all Trans Hajar social media platforms: Facebook - Trans Hajar MTB Race / Twitter - @TransHajar / Instagram - transhajar
See the action on day 1 of this newly UCI classified stage race:
About the Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race
The Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race, Oman, is an annual multi-stage mountain bike race that takes place in the Al Hajar Mountains in the Sultanate of Oman. The race originally started with a group of friends organising a three day training camp in preparation for the Cape Epic and from there it steadily grew into something a lot larger. The race organiser and founder approached Oman Sail in 2013 to support him in taking the event to the next level, attracting the top international talent and promoting cycling in Oman. The long-term aspiration is for Oman to become a winter training destination for other cycling events such as the Haute Route, Cape Epic and Rapha Cent Cols.
About the Sultanate of Oman
The Sultanate of Oman combines sea, mountains, desert, ancient culture and contemporary cosmopolitism with a warm welcome. The country prides itself on its authenticity, traditions and welcoming approach to visitors. The Sultanate of Oman is a country with an enormous wealth of natural attractions, a fascinating culture and history spanning 6,000 years, stunning landscapes and warm, welcoming people. Straddling the Indian Ocean and offering a coastline of 3,165km, Oman offers a truly unspoilt and authentic taste of Arabia. One of the many highlights of any trip to Oman is a tour of its atmospheric and vibrant capital, Muscat, voted Arab Tourist Capital 2012. It is a perfect blend of old and new, enjoying a dramatic setting with mountains on one side, the Indian Ocean on the other and is home to luxury hotels, spas and three 18 hole golf courses. National Geographic and Lonely Planet declared Oman and Muscat ‘must-see’ destinations in 2012.