Red Bull’s Titan of the Hill returned to Oman on November 23rd, this time set in the scenic mountain village of Misfaat al Abriyeen. The downhill mountain bike time trial featured a natural, rocky enduro style upper section before winding it’s way down several sets of stairs and passing through the narrow alleys of the town. The variety of terrain on this year’s course challenged riders and impressed spectators.
The 700 meter long track boasted an average grade of 14% and a starting altitude of 1000 meters. Although this was a downhill race, getting to the start line was part of the challenge. Riders had to carry their bikes to the top of the course three separate times: for a practice run, for qualifying, and for the finals.
The action was fast, with the top bikers finishing the race in just over 2 minutes. Further down in the pack, the course took its toll. Bikes suffered flat tires and broken chains. Riders went over the handlebars, sometimes dramatically. By the end of the day, only 55 riders out of 100 starters posted a time on the final run.
About half of the field made the trip from the UAE to contend for the Red Bull Titan of the Hill title. Thanks to Red Bull’s organization and Omani hospitality, racers enjoyed a pre-race campout, buffet breakfast and lunch, and of course all of the water and Red Bull they could drink. Course marshals kept the course clear and safe, while paramedics and bike mechanics were on hand to patch up minor injuries. Racers were even treated to traditional Omani drumming and singing prior to prize giving.
Beautiful terrain, a challenging course, and good race-day organization helped this race grow significantly in its second year. As they packed up to head for home, many riders were already commenting that they were looking forward to year three.
Red Bull Titan Of The Hill‘s 2nd edition is a competitive platform for bikers in Oman and the region – it is a free amateur downhill mountain bike event in a time-trial format. No jumps, simply stairs and dirt; doable with a cross country bicycle mixing urban and natural terrain. Riders carry their bikes to the top of the village to the start and then ride down against the clock. (single rider/run). ■
For more information and updates visit www.redbull.com/mea-en/events/red-bull-titan-of-the-hill/
Words + Photos by: Tonya Colson, tonyacolson.com