Atlas Mountain Race – grateful for an unexpected season closing

For all those who are only interested in hard facts (moving dots) – first things first. You will be able to follow my cap at the Atlas Mountain Race starting on Saturday Morning 9am (German time 10am) on maprogress:

I will tackle the route of 1.173km with 23.174m of climbing with cap number 59.


Usually, the daily race reports on are also worth a read.

The race website states:

The Atlas Mountain Race is a fixed route, unsupported, single-stage cycling race that starts in Marrakesh, crosses the Moroccan Atlas before taking riders through the Anti-Atlas and on to Agadir. The clock does not stop and there are no prizes. It follows gravel, single and double track and old colonial pistes that have long been forgotten and fallen into disrepair. There is very little tarmac. There is some walking, and at times there is great distances between resupply points.

The race is very special for me as my sportive year didn’t go as expected… I had a severe bicycle accident mid of June breaking my neck (actually 4 thoracic and 1 cervical vertebrae were broken) and had to undergo surgery to remove one spinal disc and to stiffen the cervical vertebra with a titanium plate and a few screws.

Modern medicine is an incredible blessing

Fortunately, the doctors did an amazing job and after 12 weeks of recovery I got green light from them that I can put normal strain on my neck again. I still had a starting place for AMR in my COVID-19 backlog of postponed events and didn’t have to think long about and booked the flights. I’m this time not at competitive fitness to fight for the podium but I didn’t want to miss the adventure, the great landscape and meeting the community of crazy folks 😊 Don’t get me wrong… I will still try to finish the course as fast as I can – but I will respect the current limits of my body and it would be a great achievement already to reach the finish line. During health recovery and ultra-cycling I definitely learned what Mike Hall meant when he said “nothing that’s worth anything is ever easy”.

Trying to slow down the physical decline as soon as I could sit up straight again

The time in Morocco before the start can be perfectly filled-up eating local specialties, enjoying the comfort of a hotel bed and acclimatizing to the dry heat of the climate before I will switch to a more essential lifestyle in the Moroccan mountains.

Thanks a lot, Nelson Trees (Race Director), for taking the effort to organize an event like this at such a great spot.

I will try to give some updates during the race on my social media channels depending on my current mood but even more important… Internet connection 😉