We headlined on Emirates News, invited back to explain where this great series can go, and where we plan to take it!
We were invited on to this well-respected sports talk show and asked every question you can think of by the presenters. They were intrigued by this sport....but none of them wanted to sign up - "too much like pain" they said!
Dubai One TV channel invited us on to explain more about the series, its humble beginnings and the vision for the future
Mountain bike racing has had a short life, but one that has seen the popular sport spread around the globe. And Oman, The United Arab Emirates and Jordan are no exception.
The Arabian Epic Series are about to set their new dates, but the mix of racing and countries is one of the most exciting additions to marathon and stage racing yet.
There are 5 one-day cross-country marathon (XCM) races in the UAE, but there is also 3 mulit-day events across the countries, covering the 2018/2019 season. So far January will have a stage race in the UAE, February will have a stage race in Jordan and the plans for a stage race in Oman are in their final phases.
There is a point score for the men’s and women’s open and age group categories – and the single day events will have an option for juniors.
The full marathon courses will range between 80 and 100km, with at least 1200m of climbing and less than 20% road. The half-marathon courses will typically be 40-50km, with 500m+ of climbing and less than 10% road and more than 10% singletrack.
It is expected that the stage races will be a mix of a prologue, along with three full marathon length stages and a half marathon length stage, working within the above formats.
We’re keen to see how this series pans out. Cycling is one of the best ways to experience a country and with the growth of cycling in Oman especially, the Arabian Epic Series could be the perfect ticket to explore this area of the world from the relative comfort of your bike seat.
If cyclists are looking for a fresh challenge for the rest of the year, then they need to look no further than The Arabian Epic Series.
A Cross Country Marathon Racing Series, participants will tackle a course that will see them ride on mountainous terrains in Fujairah, near Jebel Yibir this Friday.
There are two categories – the full marathon covers at least 80km while the half-marathon distance is between 40 to 50km.
This series there have already been three races held and due to public demand, organisers have decided to extend the season.
“This will be our fourth race this week and our intention was to host three events this season and learn how to do this right, but the riders wanted us to extend 2018 for another 3 races,” said Jason Bryan, race organiser.
“We have had around 150 cyclists take part every time and we are learning from each event. Hopefully we can continue to improve the race day experience for all those riders that place their trust in us to provide them with a great challenge and fun day out.”
Open to professional and amateur mountain bike riders, entrants must be 19 and over and have the necessary fitness level to compete in their chosen category.
With a few days to go until the fourth race, Bryan insists there will be plenty of positives for those who sign up.
“Cyclists and their families will get to experience beautiful countryside and unique landscapes that cannot be accessed easily from the roads,” he added.
“They will be able to set themselves a new challenge and test their fitness in a different way. It is well known that cross country marathons are one of the most difficult challenges on a bike whether you’re pushing for a podium spot, or just aiming to finish. There is a true sense of achievement when you cross that finish line. Seasoned triathletes even find it hard to get to the end.”
He added: “People will need to have a mountain bike, and if they do not possess one, there are many places to rent bikes for the day; they will need to be relatively fit or in shape.”
What: The Arabian Epic Series
Where: Fujairah, near Jebel Yibir
When: Friday, March 2
Contact: For more information or to register, email email@example.com
Muscat Daily staff writerMarch 02, 2017Muscat -
The seventh TransHajar Mountain Bike Race, which from this year was renamed as Frontier Epic Oman, successfully ended with Belgium rider Jugen de White claiming the title.
Romanian rider Vlad Metaxa came in second, while Australian David Price finished third overall. The race was equally good for two riders from Muscat - Joe Bunn and Andrew Murphy - who stood fourth and fifth overall.
The four-day race started last Thursday and reached its high point on Sunday, offering mountain bike action on the wildest trails, surrounded by the spectacular Al Hajar Mountains.
The professionals, the elites and amateurs completed the 40km individual time trial on Day 1 and three further stages taking them across 300km and over 8,000m of terrain in and around Yiti and Quriyat.
Jason Bryan, managing director of the Dubai-based company Frontier Sports, which managed this year’s race, said that it was an amazing event, where people made memories for life. “The riders were mesmerised by the beautiful scenery as well as enjoyed the technical aspects of fast and sometimes arduous tracks.
“The objective is to take the race forward. The weather is perfect and time is right where the event takes place just four weeks before the Cape Epic (South Africa).” Bryan added that Jurgen, winner of Frontier Epic Oman is a top class rider who will now compete in the Cape Epic in three weeks’ time.
By M Najmuz ZafarFebruary 06, 2017Muscat -
The TransHajar Mountain Bike Race in its seventh edition has got a new avatar and is now called the Frontier Epic Oman. The race for the first time will also be managed by a Dubai-based company in coordination with organisers from Oman.
The race, from February 23-26, will offer mountain bike action on the wildest trails, surrounded by the spectacular Al Hajar Mountains. The professionals, the elites and amateurs will complete the 40km individual time trial on Day 1 and three further stages taking them across 300km and over 8,000m of terrain in and around Yiti and Quriyat.
Jason Bryan, managing director of the Dubai-based company Frontier Sports, told Muscat Daily that scope for this race to grow is immense. “There is a risk that we set the expectation too high, or that we try to put on a big show and the size of that show may be more than we can handle. I want to use 2017 as a testing ground. I want to use the time to get feedback from participants on what was good and what could have been better,” said Bryan.
So far, the race has attracted cyclists representing over 20 nations and have in excess of 75 bikers who have registered. “The majority of this year’s race field will be from the performance-level amateur ranks. There will of course be elite riders and I am actively engaged in conversations at present with some well-known professionals from abroad,” he said, adding that registrations are open till February 15. To make it acceptable and easier for amateurs, the race offers option for riding only two days for almost half the cost of the full race.
“We have priced this event at almost 40 per cent cheaper than equivalent races elsewhere, as we are focused on offering value for money.” On the need for a name change, Bryan said that it means a whole lot more to people than just the challenge of cycling across a mountain range.
“This race in Oman provides an opportunity for riders from all over the world to experience a new ‘frontier’. Only a few out of the many mountain bike marathon events around the world can truly claim to have earned the right to use the word ‘Epic’. I believe that Mother Nature has ensured that a mere mortal on two wheels tackling the might of the Al Hajar Mountains, in hot and dry conditions, over several consecutive days is justifiably an ‘Epic’ challenge.”
To make this event a success, several people are pooling their resources and competencies. “The event would not have survived last year was it not for Rob Gardner of Muscat Dive and Adventure Centre (MDAC). Once again Rob and his team at MDAC play a lead role in managing the operation on the ground. “On the other hand, Frontier Sports can leverage our partnerships with global cycling brands, our relationships amongst international cycling associations and our contacts within high profile media organisations,” said Bryan.
The organisers are keen in making the event as successful as others. “We want to get there over the next five years, but we are starting from a very low base. I hope that participants see that a positive step forward has happened in 2017 and that they see potential in Frontier Sports and MDAC to deliver on the promise.”