The First Marrakech Atlas Étape
by Henry Peacock
Morocco is an exotic mix of cultures and geographic extremes; high mountains, Atlantic coastline, sand dunes and snow covered vistas. From a cyclist’s point of view, the magnificent and varied terrain does not get much better, and appeals equally to the professional as it does to the keen cyclist who wants to test their skills in either road or mountain biking.
Cycling has come of age in Morocco, and with Marrakech to Oukaimeden as an ascent to rank with any of the climbs in the Tour de France, the time for a classic cyclo-sportive in Morocco has arrived. With the highest climb of any existing étape, the Marrakech Atlas Étape is a challenging event in one of the most beautiful regions of North Africa that will equal any – and surpass most – of the cyclo-sportives currently in the cycling diary. But this won’t be just any momentous bike ride; the intention is that as well as being a seriously testing ride it will generate income to help less fortunate members of the community.
Education For All is a Moroccan-based charity that helps give girls from remote villages in the High Atlas Mountains the opportunity of a college education. There is a saying: ‘Educate a boy and you educate the man; educate a girl and you educate a family, a community and a nation’. This has been the premise of EFA since its inception in 2007. We hope to continue this invaluable work for the years to come, and all profits generated by the Marrakech Atlas Étape will go to help the girls under Education For All’s care to create a future for themselves, their community and their country.
The Atlas Mountains
The first Marrakech Atlas Étape takes place on Sunday 28th April, 2013, and annually thereafter. This event is open to everyone, with two routes that are suitable for riders of all levels. The full route, Marrakech to Oukaimeden, is 2129 metres of altitude gain in a single ascent, higher than any of the classics in the Tour de France, Galibier, Mont Ventoux and Tourmalet. This is an inclusive event of interest to professionals and serious amateurs, as well as the passionate and determined rider.
The organisers hope you can join them in 2013 for the inaugural Marrakech Atlas Étape.
Marrakech Atlas Etape (Morocco)
- 28/04/2013 - Marrakech - Atlas mountains, Morocco
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