A MONMOUTH man will be pushing himself to the limit at the end of this month as he takes part in a 1,000km cycle race in Oman.
Marcus Leach will be participating in the Bikingman Oman sprint, less than a year after completing the three Grand Tour cycling races in Italy, France and Spain.
He will have five days to complete the distance which includes 9,000m of elevation but he hopes to finish it in three.
“I only really got into cycling just over three years ago and it has grown from there, my wife would now say I’m slightly obsessed,” he says.
“I have always wanted to keep pushing boundaries and to see what’s possible mentally and physically.”
Mr Leach stumbled upon this ride while looking at another 1,000km ride in Austria and saw the opportunity to take on a different challenge.
But none of this would be possible without the support of his family who he moved with to Monmouth a year ago.
“I have a very understanding supporting wife and family, without their support I would not be able to go on these things so I’m very grateful.”
Monmouth and the wider Monmouthshire area has provided a great training ground for Mr Leach who has had to alter his routine in preparation.
Unlike his rides last year, where he stopped after each day, in Oman Mr Leach will be riding at all hours of the day with his time in the saddle only broken up by short periods of rest.
“The routes around here [Monmouth] are incredible, I go out most days at 4.45am and if I don’t go out in the mornings I’ll go in the afternoon.
“Then I’ll do the odd night ride, cycling for the the Grand Tour is one thing but this race is non-stop cycling through the night, so when I do a night ride I leave in the evening and don’t come back until the next morning.
For many, a race like the Bikingman Oman sprint would be too intimidating to even sign up to, but Mr Leach is looking forward to it, even if there are some nerves.
“It’s mostly the fear of the unknown so there are some nerves and anxiety, [but] in terms of conditions I’m looking forward to it. It’s meant to be 22 degrees so it will be nicer than what we have had in Monmouth.”
Mr Leach will fly out to Oman on 22nd February in preparation to start on the 25th.
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