Former F1 Racer Jenson Button to visit Oman for first Haute Route cycling event
2009 FIA Formula 1 World Champion and 15-time Grand Prix winner – will join an international peloton of amateur cyclists participating in the inaugural Haute Route Oman, a unique three-day adventure through the country’s magnificent Al Hajar mountain range, March 1-3, 2019
Taking part in the event with hundreds of other riders, Button will take on Oman’s iconic climb up Jebel Akhdar in the heart of the Al Hajar range. Previously only ridden by World Tour riders taking part in the Tour of Oman, the demanding HC climb is a true challenge conquered by the likes of Chris Froome in both 2013 and 2014.
“I can’t wait to take part in Haute Route Oman on what will be my second visit to the country, and I’m thrilled to be returning to ride what looks like a challenging but stunning course,” said Button.
“It will be great to share the experience with Omani cyclists, as well as those from the Gulf region and riders from all over the world,” he added.
Button’s recently launched clothing brand, Léger, will be providing cycling kit to the 250 Haute Route Oman participants including bespoke jerseys and bib shorts. Léger jerseys and shorts are well suited to the demands riders will face on the roads and mountains in Oman, designed for both performance and comfort with lightweight seamless fabrics and extra panelling.
“I am delighted that Léger has been selected as the Official Cycle Clothing Supplier for Haute Route Oman,” said Button. “Léger was born out of friendship and enjoyment which makes Haute Route Oman a perfect partner. We believe the best moments in life are shared, and what better way to showcase this than riding through the majestic mountains of Oman.”
As with all Haute Route events the historic Oman edition will deliver a ‘professional’ road cycling experience for amateur riders with full support services that reflect the culture of the professional road racing circuit.
“We are delighted that Jenson Button will be joining us for the first ever edition of Haute Route Oman. As an experienced cyclist and well-respected triathlete, we’re sure that he’ll enjoy what promises to be one of the most challenging routes on the Haute Route cycling calendar and experience the Sultanate’s breath-taking natural beauty and hospitality,” said David Graham, CEO of Oman Sail, “It will be a thrill for all participants to ride alongside Jenson Button in the peloton. The event has all the ingredients to be legendary!”
From March 1-3, 2019, the Haute Route Oman three-stage course will take cyclists 238 kms with 5,500+ metres of climbing through the Hajar mountain range, on routes that will test stamina and skill with long, high-altitude, climbs and sweeping descents.Stage one begins at the Golden tulip – the top of Jebel Akhdar climb, (83.27 km, 3,000 m+) followed by stage two: Golden tulip – Al Hamra climb – Golden Tulip, (145.3 km & 2,300 m+) and then stage three: Al Hamra – Misfat al Abriyyin, (9.3 km, 350 m+).
The centrepiece of the Haute Route Oman experience is the brutal yet beautiful Jebel Akhdar – a 10.3% gradient climb that is not only one of the most formidable climbs in the world, but is also one of the most exclusive, as the road only opens for the professionals during the Tour of Oman. While the pros only venture halfway up ‘The Green Mountain’ Haute Route Oman will take riders up the winding roads to the summit of the climb and beyond.
In addition to riding the same roads registered riders will be treated like the professionals too, with expert rider services including motorcycle escorts, live timing, professional photography and post-stage meals. Participants will also be treated to a free set of bespoke Haute Route Oman cycling jersey and bib shorts, courtesy of the event’s official clothing brand, Léger.
For more information, please visit: hauteroute.org/events/overview/oman-2019