Here, We Love Cycling speaks to Othman Hssaini, a 26-year-old from Fez, Morocco, who can’t wait to get started on his first Škoda Titan Desert race. As a Moroccan, riding a home race has him excited for the challenges that lay ahead, and he is not one to shy away from a big task.
“My biggest achievement is riding 300 km in one go,” he tells We Love Cycling. “I am a road cyclist – I am a good climber but I have a good sprint.” Othman is one of a handful of native riders taking on the Škoda Titan Desert this May and will have the support of his home nation spurring him on throughout the six-stage race. Like the rest of the riders, he is looking forward to pushing himself in the unforgiving desert dunes.
He explained: “The thing I am excited about is that I’m going to live a new experience and push myself to the limit whilst enjoying the beautiful landscape.”
For Othman, his training and preparation have been limited in April due to Ramadan. “For the preparation, I focus on endurance training and intervals but it’s difficult now to complete the preparation because we have Ramadan,” he tells us. “Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which follows the phases of the moon. This means the dates of Ramadan change each year. The month starts when the new crescent moon is first visible in the night sky.”
Despite this, he has still set himself some ambitious targets for his first Škoda Titan Desert race, adding: “My motivation is to complete the whole race. The challenge is to complete every stage with my teammate, in a good condition and without problems.”
With a home crowd behind him and a proven endurance record, Othman is sure to be someone to watch this May as the riders take to the sands for the Škoda Titan Desert.