Bicycles

Gallery: Cyclists tackle the Moroccan desert as Tour de France meets the Dakar Rally

Gallery: Cyclists tackle the M...
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
View 55 Images
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
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Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
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Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
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Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
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Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert sends riders on a 620-kilometer (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
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Action from the 2018 Gaes Titan Desert race
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
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While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
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612 riders took part in the Gaes Titan Desert bike race in 2018
The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
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The elevation gain in the Gaes Titan desert race totals 7,500 meters (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days
The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race
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The going gets tough at the 13th Gaes Titan Desert race

If you've ever tried riding a bike through a small patch of sand you'll know it's not the most agreeable of surfaces to pedal over. Now imagine racing across not only hundreds of miles of desert terrain, but up thousands of feet in elevation at the same time. That's the harsh reality for the battle-hardened cyclists taking part in the Gaes Titan Desert race, where the Moroccan desert provides a spectacular backdrop to an incredible off-road adventure.

Now in its 13th instalment, the Gaes Titan Desert race sends riders on a 620-km (385-mile) journey up and down (but mostly up) the ravines of the Atlas Mountain range in northern Morocco. The elevation gain totals 7,500 m (25,000 ft) in all, but is thankfully spread out over six days.

The route takes riders up along high-mountain peaks, through spectacular gorges, and across seemingly endless sand dunes. The adventure includes nights spent sleeping in the desert, with riders needing to carry the equipment required to perform maintenance on their bikes.

While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes
While some sections of the Gaes Titan Desert race take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes

While sections take place along rocky tracks, others see riders contend with very sandy surfaces through the dunes, including the final leg coming into the finish line in the town of Maadid.

Claiming first place in the 2018 event out of 612 riders was Spain's Josep Betalú, who earned his third straight title with a finish time of 24 hours, two minutes and 21 seconds. Taking out the women's event was fellow Spaniard Ramona Gabriel, with a finish time of 28 hours,33 minutes and two seconds.

Of course, all this craziness makes for some magnificent imagery. Jump on into the gallery for a look at all the action.

Source: Gaes Titan Desert

3 comments
ljaques
Camels wondering "WTH are those strange animals?" That's one gnarly bike race. No thanks.
Bruce H. Anderson
This appears to be one of those contests where just finishing is an appropriate goal. Winning is gravy.
Grunchy
A race without any spectators. How do you know some people didn't cheat? The race is still too easy, what you need is a race without any competitors either. For example, Grunchy's shore-to-shining-shore challenge: NY to London, across the ocean floor. You need to pack all your own spare tires, parts, tools, food & air.