James Reid of Team RECM has extended his lead to 1 minute 48 seconds on day 2 of the newly UCI classified Trans Hajar Mountain Bike race in Oman. With the stage coming down to a sprint finish between Reid and his fellow countryman Max Knox, there was only one second separating them at the line, Knox, racing for the Dubai based team Revolution Cycles, now moves up to second place in the Open Male classification.
In the Open Female Category, Great Britain’s Catherine Williamson won the day’s racing ahead of yesterday’s winner Eszter Dosa (HUN). Williamson has now moved into the overall lead, just four seconds ahead of Dosa.
2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic hopeful, James Reid, who is making his Trans Hajar debut and competing for the first time as a member of Team RECM, enjoyed some close wheel to wheel racing today,
“We pulled together a group of about five guys right towards the end and then Max jumped at the finish. I managed to sit on his wheel and close him at the end; it was a good and proper race with no holding back and I’m sure it won’t be any different tomorrow”.
Former Cape Epic winner, Catherine Williamson, will go into the third day of racing as the overall leader in the Open Female Classification; she had a challenging day out in the mountains,
“I’m absolutely exhausted – mentally as well as physically. It was a really hard day out there. There’s a really nice atmosphere – it’s amazing where we are and everyone’s so friendly out here”.
Today’s route was the longest and toughest of this multi-day stage race totalling a staggering 127km, and as temperatures reached 30 degrees Celsius competitors pushed themselves to the limit in the hot and dusty conditions. With a remote start, the stage began at the top of a 2,010m peak taking riders down the highest mountain pass in Oman. Given the extreme nature of the descent the stage began with a neutral start to ensure the competitors’ safety before winding its way through the deep canyons and meandering mountain trails of this unique and exquisite country.
Open Male Classification – top ten results (Day 2)
1. James Reid (RSA) 04:24.04
2. Max Knox (RSA) 04:24.05
3. Kevin Evans (RSA) 04:24.07
4. Andrew Hill (RSA) 04:24.07
5. Tudor Oprea (ROM) 04:24.34
6. Renay Groustra (RSA) 04:31.10
7. Lucian Logigan (ROM) 04:37.38
8. Craig Boyes (RSA) 04:44.12
9. Jan Pyott (SUI) 05:12.43
10. Marcel Kamm (SUI) 05:18.13
Open Female Classification – top five results (Day 2)
1. Catherine Williamson (GBR) 04:59.19
2. Eszter Dosa (HUN) 05:05.24
3. Hannele Steyn (RSA) 05:31.29
4. Michelle Guerin (NZL) 07:11.39
5. Anna Blanton (USA) 07:44.38
After 8 retirements on day 2, a 59-strong international field of pro and amateur riders will brave arguably the hardest climb of the Trans Hajar Mountain Bike Race during tomorrow’s racing with an ascent of 750m. Once they have completed the mountain assault it’s straight downhill on a single-track section of hard rock surrounded by beautiful and contrasting Omani scenery.