Rodney Soncco from Peru has beaten Britain’s Josh Ibbett to become the first winner of the BikingMan Oman, the first in a new series of ultracycling races that this year will also be held in Corsica, Peru and Taiwan.
Riders from 22 countries took place in the 1,000-kilometre ‘sprint’ format unsupported race, including Italy-based Juliana Buhring, the first woman home, just 10 minutes behind Ibbett.
Soncco, who won last year’s debut edition of the Inca Divide in Peru which forms part of the BikingMan series this year, completed the race in 46 hours 17 minutes, around three and a half hours ahead of his nearest rival.
He said afterwards: “Oman hides one of the most beautiful climbs on Earth with the Jebel Shams, the weather conditions (from the desert to the Al Hajar mountains) of the race makes it an incredible challenge to complete for the start of the BikingMan race season.”
Buhring, who in 2012 became the first holder of the Guinness World Record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle by a woman, has ridden events including the Transcontinental Race, the TransAM Race and, last year, the Indian Pacific Wheel Race.
She said: “Not only was Oman one of the most spectacularly diverse landscapes to ride through but a perfect introduction to the world of exploration cycling.
For me personally it was far more enjoyable than expected and challenged me in the same ways as longer formats though over a much shorter time frame.“
In total, 45 athletes from 22 countries completed the race within the allotted 120 hours.
One who didn’t was Bastien Fontaine who was thrown out of the race – which he was leading at the time – after being spotted drafting a motor vehicle, which organisers attributed to “unrelenting fatigue.”
BikingMan 2018 (website)
Bikingman Oman, 25 Feb. 1.000km starting and finishing in Muscat, Oman
Bikingman Corsica, 29 April. 700km starting and finishing in Bastia, France
IncaDivide, 1 July. 1.800km starting and finishing in Trujillo, Peru
Bikingman Taiwan, 22 October. 1.150km, starting and finishing in Taipei, Taiwan.
Here are some videos of the race.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.