145.3KM | 2,300M+ · March 2nd
Stunning scenery, a region steeped in history and another challenging climb – Day Two of Haute Route Oman has it all. Leaving from the event’s base camp at Nizwa’s Golden Tulip Hotel, get ready to explore 145km of terrain that’ll have climbers licking their lips – you’ll finish with an elevation gain of 2,300m as you ride through Al Hamra, a 400-year-old town at the base of Jebel Shams (the highest mountain in the country and a part of the Al Hajar Mountain range).
The main test on Day Two is the Al Hamra Road climb, a 23km ascent with an average gradient of almost six per cent, and an elevation gain of 1,353m. Known as the Hoota climb, it’s not as intense as Jebel Akhdar, but it’ll still ask your body questions thanks to sections that spike up to 11 per cent. But there’s gentle segments that’ll give you time to admire the scenery and catch a glimpse of Omani history – you’ll pass dwellings that date back hundreds of years, and you might even get a wave from locals tending goats as you ride past.
An area of historical and ecological importance, at the bottom of the Hamra Climb sits the Hoota Cave, which is thought to be two million years old and runs for 5km underground. The cave’s lake is a must-see attraction, and is home to Oman’s legendary blind fish, some of which are a translucent pink colour – look closely and you can see their skeletons.
The stage cols will be available soon