Here, We Love Cycling speaks to 34-year-old Idrissi Serghini Mohammed who is racing on the home dunes for the first time. He is normally found tackling marathon MTB races and has even completed a half ironman in Marrakech but this will be his maiden voyage on the sands at the Škoda Titan Desert race.
He is someone, though, who will know the routes better than most as he is a native of the area, and he is hoping for some success in the navigation section of the course. Speaking about his build-up to the race, Idrissi explained: “I train with the rest of the Škoda team who are here in Morocco. We try to do 2 to 3 long group outings, the rest of my training is on Zwift with a specific programme.”
It’s fair to say that the racing will be very different from Zwift ventures so Idrissi is hoping to complete the race with a good performance. He added: “I want to manage to cross the finish line with a good time. My motivation for this race is to exceed my limits and try this kind of competition, especially in this beautiful country.”
Being his homeland, Morocco holds a special place in Idrissi’s heart and he seems confident with his setup, explaining: “I will go with a hardtail bike and wider wheels, both suitable for the desert and the sand. This is my first experience; I will do my best.”
For many, including Idrissi, the first experience of the dunes will be tough and those first days in the saddle on this six-stage race will be met with nerves and some fear. But for many such as Idrissi, victory will be making it to the finish line and successfully crossing the arduous terrain.
To follow Idrissi’s progress on the home turf, head to the Škoda Titan Desert’s official website where you will be able to track your favourite riders and see how they are faring in the desert sands.