HERO Dubai 2020: Only a few hours to go until the start of the first edition of the HERO Dubai mountain bike race, the first in the international HERO World Series circuit. The event’s location wins for its exotic backdrop and enticing character, ready to deliver an explosion of emotions to the over 400 participants representing a good 50 countries. Punters’ favorites include World Champion Leo Paez, and Kristian Hynek, respectively first and second on the podium during the last World Marathon Championships. Contenders among the women are Blaza Pintaric and Katazina Sosna.
HERO Dubai 2020: Just a few hours to go
With just a few hours to go, everything is ready for the much-awaited first edition of the HERO Dubai mountain bike race. The race is organized with XDubai – a sports marketing company promoting the sport in Dubai – and will kick off on Friday 7 February 2020 in Hatta near Hatta Wadi Hub. The Meraas infrastructure has been developed for outdoor sports and is nestled in Dubai s breathtaking National Park.
A unique sportive event which trail blazes the new HERO World Series international circuit: it was born on the wave of success of the now-iconic HERO Südtirol Dolomites, the toughest mountain bike marathon in the world. Gerhard Vanzi, the creator of the HERO format, says that “we want to create those unique emotions experienced in off-road cycling during the HERO World Series even outside Italy”.
The Race: HERO Dubai 2020
There are two routes: the first is a marathon distance boasting 60 km and 1,600 m elevation gain, developing along Hatta’s trails and coasting the Hatta Dam. The 23rd kilometer on this route represents the King of the Mountain station as well as the highest point of the route, reached after a demanding climb.
Our heroes will have to face a 31% incline which will surely leave some people lagging. The second route features 30 km and 800 m elevation gain and develops predominantly on the Hatta MTB Trail Centre’s trails. Both routes are mostly dirt road alternating with short stretches of sand. Even going downhill requires a certain technical level. An exciting voyage on pedals set against the unique backdrop of the desert.
Participants and Countries
The first HERO Dubai boasts over four hundred participants: a number which speaks volumes about the potential of the event to the Organising Committee. There are 50 countries present, including Italy with 27 cyclists from different provinces. Athletes from Sweden, Germany, and even as far as Australia and Brazil will also flock to the starting line. The HERO Dubai edition proves how the event has confirmed its potential as an international hub connecting Europe to Asia and America. A runaway success and a stellar example of how sport creates bridges.
The Favorites of HERO Dubai 2020
The best athletes of the international mountain bike scene will grace the starting line, including most of the men’s podium of the UCI Mountain Bike Marathon World Championships of 22 September 2019 in Grächen: winner Leo Paez and silver medallist Kristian Hynek. Peeter Pruus, Estonian marathon champion, and Juri Ragnoli – specializing in long distances, the Italian champion, and winner of an amazing HERO Dolomites 2017 – will also be there.
The women vying for the title are Blaza Pintaric from Slovenia, Katazina Sosna from Lithuania, and Ariana Dormitorio from the Philippines.
The HERO Dubai Bike Festival
The race also comes with its very own fringe event: the HERO Bike Festival! A staple of the HERO format, what with its events for all off-road cycling fans, including the unmissable official presentation of the professional teams at 8 a.m. on Friday, 7 February, followed by the race’s official kick-off at 9 a.m. sharp. The heroes of the future are well cared for during the HERO Kids, a non-competitive race for children between 4 and 15, taking place at the Hatta Mountain Bike Trail Centre.
HERO World Series
The Dubai event represents the official start of the first HERO World Series 2020 edition, the marathon distance race circuit which will continue with another two races: in Italy with the HERO Südtirol Dolomites on 20 June 2020, and the HERO Thai in Thailand on 10 October 2020. There are a good 31 people signed up to all three events, including 4 women: now that is the spirit of a true heroine!