SPOT Gen3 to provide tracking and safety for ultra-cyclists in BikingMan Oman 2019 – The toughest cycling race in the Middle East

Endurance cyclists will race across the challenging Omani desert without external assistance, all carrying SPOT Gen3 satellite enabled tracking devices, with one-touch SOS.

Oman is kicking off the BikingMan 2019 ultra-cycling race series for the second consecutive year from 24th-28th February. Athletes from 23 countries will gather for the race’s start at the Al Nahda Resort in Barka city on 24 February at 3:00am to attempt to ride 1,000 km across the rugged desert terrain of Oman without any external assistance.

Each competitor will carry the pocket-sized SPOT Gen3 satellite enabled tracking and safety device so that fans can follow all the drama on the LIVE TRACKING platform of the event. A key feature of SPOT Gen3 is its one-touch SOS button, which will ensure racers stay safe.

Thanks to the reach and reliability of SPOT, and the Globalstar Low-Earth-Orbit satellite network, if any participant gets lost or suffers injury or other emergency, by simply pressing SPIOT’s SOS button, race officials will be alerted immediately, and the user’s precise GPS location is instantly transmitted to ensure help and support are dispatched as fast as possible.

Additionally, SPOT’s reliable tracking ability will enable organisers, sponsors, as well as racers’ friends and family to follow every athlete along their arduous journey on the specially designed LIVE TRACKING online interface, even when the route takes the cyclists well beyond the reach of GSM/cellular signals.

The BikingMan series was founded by French explorer and world record holder Axel Carion. It is the ultimate endurance challenge championship bringing athletes from all over the globe to the desert of Oman, the forest and mountains of Corsica, the jungle of Laos, through the Andes in Peru, across the Southern points of Portugal and finally into tropical climate of Taiwan.

“BikingMan is the absolute endurance adventure for athletes who are ready to test themselves in all kinds of terrain and weather conditions,” says Carion. “Ensuring riders’ safety on this extremely tough route is essential: We are delighted that SPOT Gen3 devices will help safeguard all our participants while helping race organisers, sponsors and fans follow the cyclists as they progress on their arduous journey.”

The athletes need to handle fuelling, accommodation and repairs on their own. Outside support and riding in a pack are prohibited. Athletes must race solo or in pairs in this test of self-sufficiency, stamina and pure grit.

They will race across a spectacular route of 1,000 kilometers with 7,500 meters of elevation gain, which includes the most challenging cycling conditions Oman can offer. The event is co-organised by BikingMan, Oman Cycling Association and the Ministry of Sports.

The race series attracts not only cyclists, but all endurance athletes including ultra-runners, triathletes, mountain bikers and adventure racers.

From Barka, the athletes will cycle around the Al Hajar mountains and attempt the dreaded Jebel Shams climb, regionally known as one of the toughest climbs in the world. The first checkpoint of the race, hosted at Jebel Shams Resort, will be at 357 km from the race start and will be reached by the first athletes on the first day. Checkpoint 2, located 756 kilometers after the race start will be hosted in a typical Omani guest house, on the doorstep of the Arabian Sea. A 400 km stretch of desert conditions awaits the athletes, who will cycle across the spectacular Ash Sharqiyah region. The final stretch will unveil the otherworldly landscapes of the Muscat/Salalah coastal highway from Sour to reach the finish line in Matrah - Old Muscat.

The battle for the lead will be truly epic as all athletes have to manage their own food, water and sleeping time without any form of outside assistance, from the start to the finish-line. The fastest of them is likely to complete the 1,000 km under 48 hours, establishing the fastest time to date to cycle around Oman.

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