Sultanate’s magnificent Al Hajar mountain range will offer riders some of the most challenging climbs in the cycling world – notably the daunting ascent of the iconic Jebel Akhdar, which tested and delighted those who took part in the first-ever event early this year.
The three-day challenge will be 260km long with 5,500m of climbing and the focal point of stage 1 and 2 will be the formidable twin peaks of Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Hatt, that rival iconic global climbs such as Mount Ventoux, Alpe d’Huez and Pesso Dello Stelvio.
For comparison, the famed Col du Tourmalet – a highlight of the Tour de France – presents the world’s elite cyclist with a 19km climb at an average gradient of 7.4 per cent, the ascent of Jebel Akhdar, the ‘Green Mountain’, offers a gradient of 10.3 per cent with an elevation gain of 1,411m.
Stage 3 has been extended from the 2019 route and will now start in the ancient lost city of Tanuf whose evocative ruins will be the launchpad for a 30km time-trial.
As ever, Haute Route will deliver the full professional tour experience to an international peloton of enthusiastic amateur riders, with the event supported by the world-class organisational experience of Oman Sail. Though a new member of the Haute Route family in 2019, Oman has already earned its place on the bucket list of many riders.
Oman Sail CEO David Graham said, “We were absolutely delighted with the success of the first-ever Haute Route Oman, and we received five-star feedback from across the entire peloton. The brilliant support of the Royal Oman Police, the Royal Army of Oman, and the local Dakhliyah community allowed us to ensure the highest safety and service standards for the riders. We welcome their continued support in 2020 where we aim to attract more international cyclists to experience the incredible cycling offerings of the sultanate.”
The first edition of Haute Route Oman attracted 262 riders from 27 countries, among them the 2009 F1 World Champion racing driver Jenson Button.
“Haute Route Oman was a really good experience,” said Button. “I wasn’t sure what to expect before taking part and it was incredible.”