World’s toughest mountain bike race – the desert stage


Hatta, Dubai, UAE, Friday 7. Feb. 2020

Length: 4.36
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The world’s toughest mountain bike race takes place in three stages: In the desert in Dubai, on the top of the mountains in the Alps and in a jungle in North Thailand.
According to the organizers is it the toughest in the world due to combination of elevation gain and kilometers biked through desert, mountains and jungle.

The first desert-stage was set in the Dubai in the national desertpark of Hatta.
For the first time in the world did a UCI (International Cycling Federation) mountain bike race takes place in UAE. An event for the history books of world cycling.

The first stage gathered 400 of the most important pro mountain bikers from 50 countries like  Australia, Italy, Germany, US, Italy, China and many more.
Among was the world champion Hector Leonardo Paez, Peter Pruss from Estonia and Kristian Hynek from Check.

The men’s race was for a long time a close fight between 6 riders.
The marathon bike route was on boasting 63 kilometers.
The trial was dirty sandy trials, which both is very difficult and tough to ride. The air was easily full of dry dusty sand from other bikers, 
The small trail even had a 1,600 m elevation gain the separated the bikers during the more than 2-hour long race. 

The women’s race started a little later with riders from Lithuania, Slovenia, Ireland, Sweden and many more.
The temperature was now 27 Celsius in the dry and sandy ambience. 
The woman raced the same marathon route as the men. 60-kilometre in a close battle between 6 world-leading riders. 
The riders kept close, bot a tough race started between the Lithuania Katazina Sosna in her national yellow shirt and in blue the Slovenian Blaza Pintanic. Katazina Sosna also representing Team Torpado-Südtirol MTB ProTeam and Blaza Pintanic, representing Team Pintatim. 

In the end did Slovenian Blaza Pintanic show her strength getting free from the Lithuania Katazina Sosna riding the fast trail downhill.

The Haffa area is a eco natural park. The temperature is in the winter 28 degree and with  74% humidity, which is considered pleasant in the region – even though some still need to find shade in the desert.
The organizers describes the mentality of the bikers to be tenacity driving through many types of sand and surprises.

World Champion Hector Leonardo Paez drank 4 water bike-bottles during the race.

Hector Leonardo Paez had prepared himself well. 
Being the world champion he has now set his mind into becoming the overall winner of World Toughest Mountain bike race by Hero under UCI.
He won in the time of 2:07.29,6 – feeling very satisfied.
Slovenian Blaza Pintanic kept the speed and lead and won in 2:35.00,6 – followed only by a cameraman at the last part of the race.

The men’s Estonian Pruus Peeter stod second on the podium with Sosna Katazina. The third was Hynek Kristian from Czech, standing with women third the Iranian Partoazar Faranak.

The winner gets € 25.000


  • Drone desert morning

  • Drone starting line

  • Riders before start back

  • Map of route

  • Riders before start front

  • Starting line with sun

  • Start 60 km men

  • Drone of start

  • Dust first meters

  • Drone dust start

  • Drone nearly crash of riders

  • Riders really close to camera

  • Group of riders going really fast

  • Group of riders really dangerous curve

  • Four riders riding over a wooden curve

  • Women on bike

  • Two women before the start

  • Pintaric Blaza before start

  • Start 60 km women

  • Dust first meters

  • Drone of Pintaric Blaza and Sosna Katazin

  • Katazin followed by Blaza

  • Katazin up hill followed by Blaza

  • Katazin downhill over wooden curve followed by Blaza

  • Drone of Katazin and Blaza

  • Blaza alone trough tree fast

  • Following Blaza

  • Drone Desert

  • Drone alone rider in sand

  • Rider rests under a tree

  • Moslem clapping rider going through water

  • Paez riding aggressive

  • Paez uphill aggressive

  • Group of riders

  • Paez uphill in stone field aggressive

  • Following Paez on last meters

  • Paez winning race

  • Paez happy holds bike in air

    “Questa é la mia sempre disciplina determinazione. Quando voglio fare qualcosa la faccio veramente con il cuore e mi impegno. Poi e un percorso che non era adatto a me ma comunque ci ho lavorato tanto e anche dei anni scorsi migliorato in discesa sulla tecnica ho lavorato molto poi e un percorso che sapevo che bisognava fare la differenza sulla salita impegnativa e dei sia e andata bene.

    “Al inizio un percorso tecnico bello divertente poi c’è la salita impegnativa”.
    (Translation UK):
    (That’s my unfailing discipline and determination. When I want to do something I really do it with my heart and commitment. Then it’s a path that wasn’t suitable for me but anyway I have worked a lot and also in the past years improved downhill on the technique I worked a lot then and a route that I knew I had to make a difference on the demanding climb and it went well.
    At the beginning there was a technical route that was fun, then there was the demanding climb”.

  • Blaza winning women race

    “First fit zone I went with Katazina Sosna and then when start long steep climb just attack and I stay alone, and then just go full gas to the end”.

  • Awards show with little fireworks

  • Blaza and Paez holding price in air

  • Katazin bitting in Silver-medal

    “The course was very hard but the athletes they were very tough and powerful and they made a very good job”.

Drone whole area



  1. Paez Leon Hector Leonardo (COL) – Team Giant Poli Medical – 2:07.29,6
  2. Pruus Peeter (EST) – Torpado-Südtirol MTB Pro Team – 2:11.57,8
  3. Hynek Kristian (CZE ) – Future Cycling Nothwave – 2:11.58,1
  4. Chiarini Riccardo (ITA) – Torpardo-Südtirol MTB Pro Team – 2:16.25,6
  5. Zanasca Luca (ITA) – Team COMOBIKE – 2:16.29,3


  1. Pintaric Blaza (SLO) – Team Pintatim – 2:35.00,6
  2. Sosna Katazina (LIT) – Torpado-Südtirol MTB Pro Team – 2:39.54,6
  3. Partoazar Faranak (IRN) – National Team – 2:55.15,2
  4. Ziolkowska Michalina (POL) – CST 7R MTB Team – 2:57.50,9
  5. Dormitorio Ariana (PHI) – Team Ariana – 2:59.00,9

For complete ranking and intermediate times, visit:


All Presskit (pdf) of the Race:

For further information, visit and