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.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.