From mountain passes to the sea, following a route far from the tourist trail, discovering the more remote parts of Morocco’s backcountry. The Atlas Mountain Race resonates all the creativity of the minds behind the now infamous Silk Road Mountain Race. As with the SRMR, wise planning and a sense of being able to deal with remote riding would count just as much as physical ability, although the temperatures turned out to be warmer than predicted – a nice bonus.
Yesterday’s journey to my first crack at a UCI Marathon Series started about fifteen years ago, after seeing Miguel Martinez solo to a marathon win on Eurosport, having ditched his punctured back tyre and ‘rimming it’ from about 5km out. I’d been an armchair fan of Cape Epic and loved the footage of the dust covered athletes racing MTB’s in dramatic landscapes. I’m in my fifties. I still want to be that man. Tragic I know.
Over the last thirty five years of cycle racing, I’ve often considered my peers and their contentment at riding the same disciplines, indeed the same races, year in year out. Each to their own and all that, but it’s not for me. It’s probably a Myers-Briggs personality thing. Firstly, I like new experiences; secondly, as a very average amateur athlete, I have never really found a discipline that has offered fame and fortune. Riding the same races over and over again holds little appeal.