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by Matt de Neef
September 25, 2019
Photography by Lian Van Leeuwen
The Atlas Mountain Race is a new, unsupported, single-stage ultraendurance race that will be held in Morocco in February 2020. Judging by the teaser video above, it’s going to be a brutally tough but stunningly beautiful ride.
The race will start in Marrakech on February 15 and take riders across the High Atlas mountains towards Agadir on the Atlantic coast. The course is 1,100km long and features gravel, single- and double-track, and “old, hand-built, colonial roads that have long been forgotten and fallen into disrepair”. There’ll be very little tarmac to speak of.
Riders can compete solo or as a pair, and they’ll ride a fixed route that passes three checkpoints along the way.
“After the successful organization of the Silk Road Mountain Race in Kyrgyzstan, we wanted to take that format and bring people to another exciting destination,” said Nelson Trees, the director of both the Silk Road Mountain Race, and the Atlas Mountain Race. “Somewhere that would be a little more accessible yet present many of the same challenges and a few new ones, unique to the geography of Morocco.
“In spirit and ethos it will share a lot with its Kyrgyz sister race, but it will truly have its own character, built on the complex and fascinating Moroccan culture that is intertwined with its mountainous setting.”
Only 100 spots are available in the inaugural Atlas Mountain Race and those spots are filling fast. Registration is open until October 16 but if you’re looking to take part, your best bet is to enter soon.
To sign up, or for more information about the Atlas Mountain Race, head to the event website. For a detailed breakdown of the course, check out the race’s Komoot page. You can also stay up to date via the race’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
We hope to have a photo gallery to share from the race in late February, but for now, check out the excellent teaser trailer above. And if you haven’t already, be sure to take a look at the excellent father-and-son bikepacking adventure through the High Atlas that we featured on CyclingTips earlier this year.