The Garmin Titan Desert 2019, the promise of an XXL adventure

February 6 th 2019 - 15:43

-The desert and navigation will play a determining role and make this edition more exciting than ever before.

-With an international and record participation: in addition to the competition, the Garmin Titan Desert is an extraordinary human adventure that has already received entries from 17 nationalities.

-Former professional cyclists, Sylvain Chavanel and Purito Rodríguez will take part in the Garmin Titan Desert.

-Škoda has been officially designated as a Premium Sponsor. This collaboration is accompanied by a dedicated race segment, the Škoda Challenge attaining 14% of elevation change.

The race route for the 2019 Garmin Titan Desert was announced during a press conference on 6 February in Barcelona This year’s event will take place from 28 April to 3 May and has all the makings of an extraordinary challenge. With an increased participation, edition 14 will feature an all-new route and will place a greater emphasis on the desert. An enticing programme that all the Mountain Bike enthusiasts will share with two illustrious champions, Sylvain Chavanel, and Purito Rodríguez, who have confirmed their participation.

Attention Mountain Bike and nature lovers, the Garmin Titan Desert will soon return. More than just a simple race, it guarantees an extraordinary experience. This is a one of a kind event that doesn’t adhere to a standard programme, offering Mountain Bike aficionados, a hybrid format. True to form, it will once again require participants to push their limits, while they will also have to rely on their sense of direction and endurance. “The Titan Spirit” surpasses the sporting aspect, making cohabitation in the travelling bivouac an invitation to share and demonstrate solidarity. Moreover, the Garmin Titan Desert is a chance to escape for 6 days in the sumptuous decor that characterizes Morocco’s natural wealth.

The desert and a new Škoda climb on the programme

In known terrain on unknown land. While the Moroccan décor does not lack for variety, the route of this edition will be focused on the desert, which is the specific biome of this region. More than ever before, the Garmin Titan Desert will put the navigation skills of the participants to the test over the 640 kilometres and the 5,911m of cumulative positive elevation changes. It should have the more adventurous rider salivating.

“We wanted to accentuate the desert aspect of the Garmin Titan Desert”, says Sporting Director, Manuel Tajada. “We have added new dune passages on several of the stages and we have also given more importance to navigation, with an added navigation sector on stage three. This is the most difficult Titan in history.”

This edition also welcomes the arrival of Škoda as a Premium Sponsor for the next three years. As a consequence, beginning with this edition, the Garmin Titan Desert will include the Škoda Challenge, a special climbing section that will provide the event with even more intense moments of competition. A meaningful partnership that is welcomed by Fidel Jiménez de Parga, CEO of Škoda Espana. “To be present on the Garmin Titan Desert will once again allow us to demonstrate the reliability of our SUVs on all types of terrain. We are also proud to be associated with a leading event on the calendar that brings together elite and amateur cyclists.”

Stage 1: Merzouga-Merzouga (109 km / + 800 m).

Stage 2: Merzouga-Ouzina (105 Km / + 731m). This Garmin stage, that will constitute the first portion of the Marathon stage, will be run without navigation aid.

Stage 3: Ouzina-Merzouga (118 Km / + 1 555m), will be the second portion of the Marathon stage.

Stage 4: Merzouga-M'ssici (119 km / + 1 031m).

Stage 5: Mssici-El Jorf (125 km / + 1 535 m). The Škoda Challenge will be featured on the mountain portion of this stage. The participants will have to ride 14kms of ascension, which will precede a 325-metre ramp, for a total elevation gain of 14%.

Stage 6: Le Jorf-Maadid (64 km / + 259 m).

Discover the route in detail

A record participation

With two months to go before the start, the enthusiasm is tangible, so much so that the wait is manifested by a growing number of inscriptions. In fact, heading toward the final stretch, 580 entries have been confirmed. The international flavour of the event is once again confirmed with 17 nationalities already represented. Everything is now a go for this edition to set a record for participation. For the last of the undecided who want to give into the temptation, there is just one month left to sign up !

Champions entered

Strong in singularity, the Garmin Titan Desert is open to all comers and guarantees Mountain Bike enthusiasts the opportunity to measure themselves against the best of the best. Joaquim “Purito” Rodríguez, confirmed his participation in the 2019 race during the presentation of the race route. He will also serve as the Global Ambassador of the Garmin Titan Desert through 2020. Winner of nine stages on the Vuelta (2nd place in 2015 and 3rd in 2010 and 2012), three stages of the Tour de France (3rd place in 2013), two stages of the Giro (2nd place in 2012) and number 1 in the UCI classification in 2010, 2012 and 2013, Purito Rodríguez wants “to enjoy as much as possible this experience and discover Morocco” and adds that “Mountain Bike races have something very special: the camaraderie among its participants”. Concerning his competitive ambitions, his premier goal is to “discover the race”. So, the Spaniard is very excited to get back on his bike to set off on this new challenge. Participants will also be thrilled to count on the presence of Sylvain Chavanel. The Frenchman, who has won three Tour de France stages and holds the record of riding in 350 stages of the Grande Boucle, is preparing with the Viorcam KH-7 Cycling team. While waiting for the start, he can’t hide his excitement, “I can’t wait to take part in this adventure, and discover the rally spirit. It is an attitude that I like and I am always up for new experiences.” While he is ready to battle, he nonetheless remains a little prudent. “Looking after the mechanics doesn’t scare me, because I am quite handy. However, I am more worried about the navigation, which I have no experience with in competition.”

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