After starting his year with a Costa Del Sol epic, our man Josh has put in a solid performance at this year's BikingMan Ultra in Oman. Ahead of his crack at the Tour Divide, we'll be filling you in on how Josh prepares throughout the year. Everything is just training, until then.
To add just that bit more difficulty, Josh decided to fly into Dubai and ride 515km to the race start over two rides. What's more, is he did the first 310km ride at an average speed of over 30kmh... Unreal... Oh and he also bagged the KOM on the brutal Jebel Shams climb during the race itself.
Check out the three epic rides on Strava here:
Josh has put together an awesome video documenting his experience, which has gone online just today. Have a watch here:
With the race winner Rodney Soncco absolutely screaming ahead and supposedly completing the 1060km race in around 40 hours without sleeping, Josh crossed the finish line in third place, just behind Jason Black. Here's what he had to say...
"Bikingman Oman offered a great chance to explore a fantastic country and a stern test of my early season form. I started the race with some personal targets to meet based around the bigger picture of racing the Tour Divide later on in the year. With that in mind I cycled to the start of the race from Dubai, 315miles in 2 days, which allowed me to spend a little more time on the bike. The main target for the event itself was to ride my own race and not get carried away with going too hard by following the wheels early on. I wanted to produce a consistent effort across the duration of the race and finish strongly, I knew that if I did this I’d be near the pointy end of the field.
My race plan worked well, early on I was languishing towards the back of the pack but I knew that I was holding the right pace and the others were going too hard. Throughout the first day I slowly ticked off the riders ahead of me and climbed into second position on the tough ascent of Jabel Shams to CP1. I even managed to knock 15minutes of last years fastest time up the climb which is encouraging given the mountainous route of Tour Divide. Rodney, last year's winner, took a gamble with the gravel shortcut which royally paid off. He gained 1h30 as the rest of us took the longer road route to the base of the climb. It was Rodneys race to loose from here on in and as expected loose he did not! During the night I was joined by Jason Black and we formed an unspoken alliance through the early hours. He was obviously faster on the flat, but both of us needed the interaction of each other to stay awake. We made CP2 around 7am for a quick rest and refuel before the final 150mile push to the line. Jason rode away from me so I settled into my rhythm. The heat was intense and made focusing hard and required huge amounts of water to keep riding. However I kept plugging away and secured 3rd place overall in 41hours non stop with no sleep. There are certainly more pleasant ways to tour a country… but long distance racing always seems like a good experience upon post race reflection with a cold beer in hand."