On February 15th, 2020 the first-ever Atlas Mountain Race (AMR) took place. The event, organized by PEdALED, and supported by Komoot, Fizik and Canyon, consisted of an ultra-endurance self-supported cycling race through the most remote and extreme roads and single tracks of the Atlas range in Morrocco which separates North Africa from the vast Sahara desert. Nelson Trees put together this race so that the most adventurous and fearless riders of the world could test both their physical and mental strength in the 1145 km (and 20.000 m of ascent) route that he had designed.
The AMR was not a sweet ride along the coastline on a Sunday morning, but a pure test consisting of rocky trails, gravel roads, inaccessible locations, never-ending climbs, sandy paths, and some, but scarce, paved sections. Even though the route was challenging, Brady Lawerence, a filmmaker and photographer based in Seattle (US) with much experience in cycling and outdoor adventures, was capable of documenting the race. If finishing the race was a difficult feat for the participants, recording it was for him as well.
Into the Rift is the movie that narrates the story of the AMR. In the piece, Lawerence clearly captured the essence of the race, from the mesmerizing landscapes to the riders’ sensations and thoughts of the race. The film contains beautiful and mystical images -as the participants describe it- of the lunar rocky landscapes, snow-capped peaks, broken dusty roads, high passes, large hot planes, sandy paths, and unexpected oasis that the adventurers found along the way. All of that, narrated by the race director Trees and first-hand impressions and comments of the participants. Moreover, in addition to a stunning and detailed picture, the movie explains how the race developed and it contains in-situ comments from the winners of the race (Sofiane Sehili and Jenny Tough) and their chasers (James Hayden, Jay Petervary and Andrea Seiermann).
Without further ado, put the lights down, turn the volume up, and enjoy the show.