To simply finish the Atlas Mountain Race means navigating 1,200 kilometres of the most rugged and remote roads in Morocco. Along forgotten gravel paths from Marrakech to the Atlantic coast, riders must climb a staggering 25,000 meters of elevation past snow-capped peaks, through scorched desert and into palm-filled oases, all under the eight-day time limit.
To win requires riding almost non-stop, night and day, for days on end. It is a combination of strength and sleep deprivation that only a few riders in the world can manage. Riding alone, unsupported and loaded down with supplies, each competitor must constantly battle mechanicals, heat exhaustion and saddle sores to get to the finish. There is no prize, no money, simply the satisfaction that comes from pushing oneself to the limit while exploring the backroads of a beautiful country.
With support from Canyon in conjunction with PEdALED, Fizik and the race crew led by organiser and route creator Nelson Trees, filmmaker Brady Lawrence followed the race documenting everything from a brutal 80 kilometre walk through the high desert with a broken bike, to one racer’s simply joy at realising they’ll soon eat their first warm meal in days. Featuring the sport’s biggest names and first-time, ultra-distance racers alike, the film gets up close to the kind of people crazy enough to take on this epic challenge. Capturing the human drama set against an otherworldly landscape, Into the Rift is an in-depth look at a true cycling adventure.
For even more impressions of the Atlas Mountain Race, check out the exciting story from Team Terrible Heaven.