The world’s longest Ultra-Stage bicycle race, Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme 2015, has reached its finish. Ten international athletes cycled 9195 km for 23 days at an average speed of 30 km/h. The Russian team of Mikhail Ignatyev and Ivan Kovalev won the race in the duo category, while Belgium Kristof Allegaert was the quickest amongst solo riders.
Smothering heat, cold, strong head and tail winds, heavy showers, thunders, huge insects, night rides, 1000-km stages, various climate and time zones – that’s just half of the list of challenges the cyclists had to battle during those 23 days on the roads from Moscow to Vladivostok.
“If you compare my world tour and the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme I’d say that the race is much tougher, “ said the only female athlete and a Guinness World Record holder for circling the globe by bike, Paola Gianotti. “You have to keep the pace, overcome the difficulties and manage without sleep. That’s a truly extreme challenge and I feel it in every inch of my body.”
“It was hard even for the local riders, – said the 2004 men’s track cycling points race gold medalist , Mikhail Ignatyev.” “it was an unusual format for me. Different stages, different physical conditions of the competitors and awful roads made this race a real challenge. I love my bike and it’s a part of me, but there were moments when a thought of getting back on the bike made me scream,” commented the Russian duo team winner.
41-year old Allegaert stormed to triumph in the solo category. “Frankly I’m surprised, – said the Belgian, – I thoroughly prepared for the race but didn’t expect to win. It was an exciting and challenging race. I’m sure there will be plenty of riders wanting to compete in the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme next year”.
Russia is the largest country in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth’s inhabited land area. During the race, the athletes passed 7 time zones, 4 climate zones and crossed the border from Europe to Asia.
Kristof Allegaert (BEL) 318:57:30
Eduard Fuchs (AUT) 331:52:13
Steve Harvey (UK) 337:35:49
Denis Madjara (RUS) 399:11:43
Mikhail Ignatyev/Ivan Kovalev (RUS) 282:16:23
Thomas John/Johannes Rosenberger (DEU) 283:41:51
Paola Gianotti/Paolo Aste (ITA) 286:6:46
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