Begins Sunday 23rd August 2015
Called “The world’s toughest cycling event” the RACE (Race Across Europe) is a non-stop course which covers 4710km. Starting in Calais, competitors will be cycling through seven countries across Europe before reaching the finish line in Gibraltar. This is the second time the RACE is been held, which has received its pedigree from RAAM (Race Across America), one of the most popular endurance events in the world. The RACE has been designed and organised by Greenrock Limited; a family-run business which hosts a number of cycle tours and have been designing and running some of the most challenging bike events since 1992. Greenrock have taken the lessons of RAAM’s 30 year history to create an Ultracycle event for Europe, which is, in their words “testament to the strength, endurance and spirit of the human character”.
When you bear in mind that the professionals in the Tour de France take 21 days to race 3429 kilometres, it’s incredible to think that soloists in the RACE have just 15 days to tackle a whopping 4710. Breathtaking – literally! Beginning in Calais, racers will be heading east across France, through Germany’s Black Forest, across the Austrian Alps, Past Italy into Slovenia, through the Vrsic Pass before descending back into italy and then through Southern France, Spain and finally crossing the finish line in Gibraltar. Clearly it takes exceptional stamina, strategy and, according to the organisers, “Humour” to succeed.
While the RACE may seem to be a daunting task for professionals alone; the organisers say that anyone with enough preparation can participate. The event is not open simply to pros and soloists, teams of up to eight can compete, taking turns on different legs of the race, it can be done whether you can handle 3000 miles per day or 300. Support is also in place at every step, with checkpoints along the route to update split times and Yellow Brick satellite tracking systems to monitor the racer’s positions, average speed and upload these statistics to the internet. Friends and family can follow the racers through the app provided by Yellow Brick. Support crew are also available from the organisers, should the participants not have their own. RACE offers everyone with perseverance a chance to participate in the adventure of a lifetime.
The four-man Team Phoenix hold the course record at 9 days, 22 hours and raised over £6000 for charities such as Help for Heroes. Team Captain Keith Burley called the RACE life changing and is quick to point out that he didn’t even own a bike 12 months prior “If I can do it, I believe most people can” and when asked if he’d do it again, he replied “Yeah! Where do I sign?”. Teams in the 2014 RACE will cross the finish line on 11th September in Europa Point. The iconic location, known as one of the pillars of Hercules is a fitting sight for those who complete this intense endurance event. Come down to Europa Point to enjoy the views, the summer sun and cheer for the teams as they cross the finish line in the world’s toughest cycling event.
To find out more about The Race Across Europe, visit theraceacrosseurope.com for info, dates, pictures and more.