Muscat: World champion racing driver Jenson Button is set visit Oman this March, to take part in the Middle East’s first ever Haute Route cycling event.
Button – the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Champion and 15-time Grand Prix winner – will join an international peloton of keen amateur cyclists participating in the inaugural Haute Route Oman, a unique three-day adventure through the country’s magnificent Al Hajar mountain range.
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, Haute Route Oman will take the riders on a 237 km route that will include climbs with a total elevation gain of 5,248 metres. The event consists of two days with classic road stages of 83 km and 145 km respectively, followed by an individual 9 km time trial on the final day which will see riders pass through the idyllic 400 year-old village of Al Hamra to conclude what promises to be a truly memorable experience.