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Registration opens for Marrakech Atlas Etape

Moroccan sportive ride involves scaling a 2,600m monster of a climb

Registration has today opened for the second Marrakech Atlas Etape, a sportive ride in Morocco that takes you up to an altitude of 2,600m.

The big feature of the ride is the Oukaïmeden mountain which involves a climb of over 2,000m up to a ski station. It’s a similar height to the legendary Galibier in the French Alps.

We sent our man Mat to the inaugural event back in May, and he loved it. Read Mat’s article to find out why you should consider heading out to Morocco for this ride. It’s a good read, especially the bit where he gets hypothermia. Chances are that conditions will be much better next time around – it’s in North Africa in the spring, after all – and you’ll get the stunning views for which the region is well known.

The event is extremely well organised, and it offers something quite different from most European sportives. ​It ​is ​an ​inclusive ​event ​with ​no ​aggressive ​'broom ​wagon' ​and ​a ​choice ​of ​two ​routes. It is run in support of Education For All, a charity that gives girls the chance of a college education in Morocco.

The 2014 Marrakech Atlas Etape takes place on Sunday 27 April. Entry prices and all other details are available at

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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