Jul 29 - Gibraltar To Be The Finish Line For First Ever Ultracycling RACE (Race Across Europe)
Greenrock has chosen Gibraltar for the finish of the RACE (Race across Europe) which will take place between the 27th August and the 12th September.
This ultracycling event is Europe’s equivalent to the Race across America (RAAM), which started in 1982 with four competitors and is now one of the best known endurance events in the world with hundreds of riders and thousands of participants each year. The RACE route is 2933 miles long, from Calais to Gibraltar via Slovenia, and entrants can ride solo, in pairs or as teams of four, six or eight. 2013 will be its first year.
Gibraltar’s Europa Point, with its iconic position and inspiring views across to Africa, will mark the finish to this Herculean endurance event. Gibraltar is also a fitting choice as the RACE is organized and run by Greenrock Ltd, a British company who had originally planned to start the RACE from London. However, the extra logistics and time implication of ferries and hiring right-hand drive support vehicles for an event on ‘the wrong side of the road’ meant London was dropped. So Greenrock are delighted to be able to finish the RACE on British soil after all. In fact, while researching Europa Point as a potential finish line, two of Greeenrock’s Directors were so taken with Gibraltar that they chose it as their wedding venue and were married in Gibraltar this May!
Many Europeans think the Tour de France, whose riders cycle 2131 miles in 21 days, is the hardest bicycle race in the world. However solo riders in the RACE face 2933 miles in just 15 days, averaging 195 miles and 18 hours in the saddle per day. No transfers, no hotel rooms, no stopping when it gets dark. Riders bring their own support teams and vehicles which follow immediately behind them as they inch their way across the continent. However it’s not all pain and perineal punishment. A rider in a team of 8 only has to ride 366 miles in total over 10 days, averaging 36 miles and two and half hours in the saddle per day – which makes it an achievable challenge, and many team entrants are using the RACE to fundraise for a charity close to their heart.
The RACE’s 2933-mile route starts in Calais then heads east through Germany (the Black Forest), past ski resorts in Austria and Italy to the Vrsic Pass in Slovenia, after which it plunges southwest through Italy, France and Spain to finish at Europa Point in Gibraltar. Riders will cross the Alps twice, the Pyrenees once, climb the notorious Mont Ventoux and the 2744m Col d’Agnel between Italy and France. Along the way there will be both manned and ‘mystery’ checkpoints to discourage cheating, and all riders will carry a ‘yellow brick’, the Iridium-based satellite tracking system which embeds into the RACE website to show the geographical locations and speeds of the riders.
The RACE features in Harper Collins’ World’s Ultimate Cycle Races and in the Guardian’s Ten of the best cycle races in the UK and Europe (October 2012). It was dreamt up by Joe Mearns and Laura Stone at Greenrock Ltd, a British challenge events company which specialises in long-distance and high-altitude cycling. Joe Mearns, the RACE Director says, “We are very excited about establishing Europe’s first long distance ultra-cycling event to match the Race Across America. The benefits it will bring to cyclists, sponsors and the countries it passes through will be immeasurable and for the good of all.”
If you would like more information featuring or sponsoring the RACE please contact:
Laura Stone, Greenrock Ltd
Tel 01329 232 582 / Mobile 07939 953 395