The Titan Desert goes back to its roots
December 18 th 2020 - 13:00
• The 16th edition of the event will be held in Morocco from 23 to 28 May 2021
• The Marathon Stage, the dunes, navigation, dromedary camels, haimas and mint tea all return
• Registration opens at 16:00 at www.titandesert.com
Next 23 May the adventure of the Titan Desert returns to its original scenario. Boumalne Dades will give the start to the 16th edition, which will finish in Maadid on 28 May. After the successful experience in Almería last November, the Titan Desert -organized by RPM-MKTG and ASO- returns to its origins, to Morocco, with its traditional format of six stages.
After the scrutineering day on Saturday 22 May, the race will start on Sunday 23. It will cover more than 600 kilometres (375 miles) and will have a mountainous profile, particularly on the first two days with an elevation gain of more than 7,000 metres. The Marathon Stage will also be held -on the third day- when external assistance is prohibited and the riders must carry the material they consider necessary to spend the night.
A very special edition
It will be a very special edition, marked by the return to Morocco, where we will encounter the bivouacs, haimas (Bedouin tents), dromedary camels, mint tea and Tagine once again. The North African country hosted the event from its birth in 2006 until 2019, although the pandemic meant that the organization of the Titan Desert had to move the event to Almería in 2020 to be able to hold the 15th edition with guaranteed safety. Based on the experience of the Titan Desert 2020 in Almería, the organizing team will once more ensure people’s safety and health above any other consideration, to achieve a Covid-free race again.
RPM-MKTG CEO Jesús García sends out a message of optimism in a year that has been difficult for everyone. “Getting to the end of such a hard year in which most sports events have been cancelled all over the world, and being able to plan ahead for the Titan Desert with the same energy and enthusiasm, seems to me to be a reason for celebration and pride for the entire company”. He goes on to say that “the Titan Desert will continue to grow, it will reach out to the world, crossing the sands of the most mythical deserts on the planet, but naturally without not leaving the Moroccan desert, which is the origin and the culmination of this great project for us. He announces that “we will reach out to three continents in 2021: Morocco (Africa) in May; back to the Tabernas desert in Almería (Europe) at the end of October/beginning of November, on similar dates to the edition held in 2020; and we will end the year in December in Asia with the Titan Series Saudi Arabia”.
Yann Le Moënner, the Director of ASO, the company that also organizes the Dakar Rally and the Tour de France, sees great parallels between the two events. “Adventure, discovery and achievement are the basic values we share between the Dakar and the Titan, without a doubt. The Dakar is an adventure and the Titan too”. Not surprisingly, the Titan is also known as ‘The Dakar of the Bikes’. “Indeed, Africa is the origin of the Dakar. It was like a game, going out and discovering new territories. What strikes me most is the contrast between the different landscapes, from the Atlas mountains to the dunes, from the snow to the sea. A variety of terrain that we do not usually see during the year”, adds Mr Le Moënner. Africa, the origin of everything: of the human race, of the Dakar, and of the Titan Desert.
Titan World Series President Juan Porcar is also excited about this year’s event. “With the development and arrival of vaccines, we are fully convinced that we will be able to go ahead with the Titan Desert in Morocco as planned. If we did not think it was possible we would not even have considered the idea. If, in one of the worst moments of this year, we were able to organize the Titan in Almería, why not in May 2021 when the vaccines will have arrived?” As for the route of the 16th edition, he maintains that it “will be a really epic course and a great opportunity for people who have thought about taking part in the Titan Desert, or those who would like to repeat the experience”.
Registration and new features
Registration will be open from 16:00 today at www.titandesert.com. The first price, for all participants over 25 years of age, is 2,145 euros. This price will go up after the first 400 race numbers (bibs) have been sold or on 2 February 2021. Bear in mind that there are already more than 200 entrants registered or the event: people who changed their 2020 entry for 2021.
The 16th edition has some interesting new features, such as a renewed Adventure classification, limited to 60 people, for those participants who seek an even greater challenge with more self-sufficiency and less personal comfort. A metal trunk with restricted measurements (width 45 cm / height 35 cm/ length 80 cm) will be made available to Adventure classification riders so that they can put all the things they need for the 6-day race in it. Furthermore, they may not receive mechanical assistance or physiotherapy, except from another rider in the race (lending spare parts is not allowed) or from another Adventure classification rider. This is applicable either during or outside the race, and also to the lending of spare parts. The Adventure riders will have their own areas, one for rest and the other for bike repairs.
Another novelty this year is the Rookie classification; two people (their gender does not matter) who must ride together, consisting of a Titan (who finished [at least] in a previous edition) and an under-25 (rookie) born between 1997 and 2005. The two riders do not have to be related.
A sustainable event
One of the most important pillars of the event is the Titan Life by KH7 programme. It works in two main areas: environmental sustainability, with a commitment to zero waste by applying a series of measures to reduce our carbon footprint to a minimum. More than ten people work in the bivouacs on the maintenance and distribution of 50 garbage containers, plus a sweeper car and a container truck to collect rubbish and not leave any traces behind. To give you an idea, more than 40,000 plastic bottles are collected in a Titan Desert event.
The second area of the Titan by Life by KH7 programme is solidarity with society. More than 500 local people are contracted to work directly or indirectly in the race. Another feature are the Titan Life by Kh7 grants. More and more participants take part in the Titan for solidarity reasons, supporting a number of good causes. In the last edition more than 14,000 voted for the 5 best projects, and a jury then selected the two winners. The prize? Participation in the Titan Desert free of charge. The idea behind these grants is to raise the profile of problems faced by society.
The countdown to the 16th edition of the Titan Desert has begun. The adventure returns to its roots. The most original Titan Desert is back. #TitanDesert2021
Stage 1 - 23/05/2021 - Boumalne Dades – Boumalne 103 km
Stage 2 - 24/05/2021 - Boumalne Dades – Ait Yahya 127 km
Stage 3 - 25/05/2021 - Ait Yahya – Tafraoute (Marathon Stage) 99 km
Stage 4 - 26/05/2021 - Tafraoute – Erg Chebbi 130 km
Stage 5 - 27/05/2021 - Erg Chebbi – Erg Chebbi 107 km
Stage 6 - 28/05/2021 - Erg Chebbi – Maadid 74 km