Haute Route Oman Signs off with Flourish after Highly Successful First Ever Event

Muscat, The Middle East’s first ever Haute Route

event finished with a flourish in Misfat Al Abriyinn in the Wilayat of Al

Hamra in the Governorate of A’Dakhiliyah today as a large field of

international cyclists completed their three-day adventure in Oman.

After two days and more than 200 kilometres of challenging riding �

which included long and daunting road climbs up both Jebel Akhdar in

the Wilayat of Nizwa and Jebel Haat in the Wilayat of Al Hamra � the

amateur riders taking part in Haute Route Oman took on a deceptively

short 9.4km time trial finale.

Setting out from Al Hamra in still conditions, a stark contrast to

the testing winds the field faced on the mountain courses, riders made

a fast start on flat rolling roads from the ancient town. Then came the

sting in the tail, a relentless series of steep switchbacks and climbs as

the course ascended towards the finish in Misfat. The day was won by

Australia’s Adrian White, who clawed back time on the overall leader

Guillaume Bourgeois, but not enough to deny the Swiss rider the

Haute Route Oman title.

Following almost six hours of determined riding, Bourgeois

finished only 1 minute and 27 seconds ahead of White, with Thomas

Berger of the Netherlands completing the podium places. I am very

happy, said Bourgeois. It is always difficult after the first day when

you control the race to continue to manage it for the two following

days.

So Saturday went well and I was able to control those following me,

and I knew today was quite a short race time so it would be difficult to

close a big gap, so I was pretty confident and very happy with the

result.

The women’s race was a clearer cut affair, with British cyclist

Helen Sharp winning all three stages to finish more than 20 minutes

clear of China’s Stella Chen He, with the Netherlands’ Lispeth Gruppen

taking third. It’s been epic, absolutely amazing, said Sharp. Tough,

but it always is with a Haute Route, that’s what you expect, it is what it

is supposed to be. Great people, great scenery, a great country and

sunshine, just awesome.

Speaking immediately after the demanding final section she

added: That was the most horrific 9k hill climb of my life, probably, it

was super-tough. It was tough, really tough. But it’s day three, it’s

finished and the holiday begins from now.

Local rider Hatim al-Booshri was the leading Omani competitor in

16th place, just two ahead of Shibab al-Qamshouai. Meanwhile 2009 FI

world champion Jenson Button, a keen cyclist and co-founder of the

Leger cycle clothing brand who were official event partners, came

home to take 30th place after a memorable three days.

The 200 riders returned to the Haute Route Oman base in Nizwa

for the closing ceremony, which is under the patronage Shiekh Rashid

bin Said al-Kalbani, Wali of Nizwa.

Haute Route Oman is part of the national sports tourism strategy

that aims to increase inbound tourism through sports and promote

Oman as a tourism destination under the supervision of the Ministry of

Tourism and the Tanfeedh’s Implementation Support and Follow-up

Unit (ISFU).

Source: Oman News Agency