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Spring Training in Morocco

by Holly Blades

Between February and May over 100,000 amateur riders from the UK escape the winter cold and head to sunnier climes to kick start their cycling season. Mallorca has long been the number onedestination with it's quiet roads and varied terrain followed by the Canary Islands with it's warmer climate.

In 2019, leading cycling travel experts Sportive Breaks are introducing a new destination with great early season weather, long, French designed mountain cols and a fascinating localculture: Morocco.

Sportive Breaks are offering guided road cycling tours in the Atlas Mountains in late February andMarch. The 5 night breaks include 4 full days of riding going over the stunning Tizi n Test and Tizi nTichka, two mountain cols going over 2,000m. The rides take in the best of a spring training break with early season sunshine & quiet roads and the best of a ride in the mountains with stunning long climbs and sweeping descents. The climbs are higher than the Tourmalet and longer than the Stelvio but gradients are rarely steep making this the ideal early season mountain playground.

The rides are in small groups of 12 riders with a local ride guide and two support vehicles. "We are often the only people on the road," says Lahcen, Sportive Breaks's local Morocco guide. "We choose the best routes from our region staying on good tarmac roads but avoiding the traffic. International riders are always amazed at the quality of riding we have here!"

Outside of the great riding, there are some fascinating places to visit on the tour. On the first night the group stay in Imlil close to the highest mountain in North Africa, Mount Toubkal. Then, after acouple of days in remote villages the riders arrive in Ouarzazate, a beautiful old town close to the start of the Sahara before finishing in Marrakesh.

"Our company logo is "In Pursuit of the Perfect Ride" and we have a team of cyclists exploring fornew climbs and areas which we think our guests would love," says Phil Sears of Sportive Breaks.

"We have been coming to Morocco in winter to surf for years and love the weather, food, friendly people and local culture and started to hear more and more from the growing local road cycling scene in Marrakesh and Atlas Mountains". In recent years, a new sportive - The Marrakesh Atlas Etape has started with more and more international riders coming each year. The mountain bike scene is already popular and Phil expects this will become very popular with European road cyclists quickly.

"For road cycling, this really is the perfect early season location. The weather is great, the roads are empty and good quality and the climbing is every bit as good as the great climbs of the Pyrenees or Alps, and we love swapping coffee stops for mint tea breaks and pasta parties for a tasty tagine"

You can book your place on this exciting new spring cycling break from £599 at

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