If you have not cycled around Rab Island so far, it will be difficult to imagine what awaits you. If you did and if you liked it, then know that you are coming for an even better dose of cycling pleasure. Because Rab is, at least on a bicycle, like doping. Not to say – like drugs. It is no coincidence that the slogan of the Rab Island is “Happy Island”. However you interpret it.
There are two trails at the Rab Island Hero MTB Marathon. We named them according to the mileage, so the shorter one is called HERO 40 and the longer one HERO 65. The trails separate exactly at the 36th kilometer, so pay attention here to drive the trail you wanted.
As in all previous Husqvarna Adria Bike Series races, you can choose which trail you want to ride at the race itself.
The race starts in the center of the city of Rab. The first few hundred meters we’ll ride in a closed start and just before the first ascent – the race begins. The trail on Rab Island has a lot of narrow sections where overtaking will not be the easiest task, so you’ll have the first 15% ascent just 800 meters after the start. For the next 3 kilometers we’ll drive along a panoramic road, a combination of narrow asphalt and macadam, and then we’ll turn onto the first of several dozen interesting singletrails and we’ll descend towards the south side of the island.
Around the 7th kilometer we’ll start a beautiful singletrail by the sea, which ends with a short but steep technical climb, where only the best will stay on the pedals. Then follows a kilometer of chasing at gravel, and then we’ll enter a labyrinth of technically simple singletrails that will allow us a high speed average and smiling from ear to ear. Combination of singles, macadam, some road and again paths and lanes for the next almost 20 kilometers takes you through two protected natural areas – Dundo Forest and Kalifront. Amazing nature will surround you all the time while driving in the woods and by the sea. Here the trail passes near several FKK beaches, so try to be discreet and not disturb the peace of people who are not used to a caravan of colorful, attractively dressed and incredibly fast cyclists buzzing with their rattles and wheels.
The last quarter of the short route offers two more ascents and then a return to the city of Rab. At the exact 36th kilometer, the trails separate – the right one goes back to the finish line, and the left one is HERO 65. Just before the separation of the trails, there is a short technical singletrail uphill, extremely narrow, so expect a possible jam – but all together is approximately 25 meters long. The last 4 kilometers is a panoramic ride, suitable for sightseeing or high speed riding and chasing the best possible position and time, depending on preferences.
This trail shares the first 36 kilometers with the shorter trail described above, so we will not repeat that part. What would be useful to note within these first 36 kilometers is that the trail is extremely diverse, there are a lot of small ascents and descents and narrow sections where traffic can slow down the speed of physically and technically better and more ambitious cyclists. Keep that in mind if you came for the result, but keep in mind that your competitors are in the same position.
The first 3,5 kilometers of the trail offers the opportunity to capture a good position because it has a 400 meter long 15% “filter” climb and then a wide panoramic road. The first 36 kilometers do not have too heavy technical parts, but there are a lot of singletrails that can be driven quite fast and a few “slowers” where will certainly be more or less jams. Just before the trails separates, there is a short technical singletrail climb where you can also expect some jam.
After the separation of the trails, there is a long route that shows all the splendor and diversity of Rab Island. We’ll climb towards Fruga and with a series of fast macadams we’ll arrive at Premužić Trail, a beautiful panoramic rocky singletrail that takes you down to the most famous Rab beach. In the next 10 kilometers we’ll enter the area of Lopar, which is characterized by a sand base and a combination of fun singles and small side roads. On the way back, there is another steep, wide, but shaky ascent, followed by 3 km of singles before the final 7 km of fast and wide macadam road and descent to the finish line.
The feed zones are at the 21st km, 44th km and at the finish line.
The trail was marked by members of the BK Mag club from Rab Island, under the mentorship of Pavao Roset and Adria Bike organization.
Whatever you choose, whatever the motive of your ride is, you will enjoy it – no doubt about it.
Rab Island Hero. Just for one day.
KRK’N’ROLL 2021. MTB MARATHON