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With Cola and Snickers: Austrian wins hardest race in Europe - cycling

With Cola and Snickers: Austrian wins hardest race in Europe – cycling

Christoph Strasser needs a little over nine days for a distance of 4,500 km and an altitude of 40,000 meters. © Tadic Sechanovsky

Extreme cyclist Christoph Strasser took victory in his first TCR. Nine days and 14 hours later, Styria was the first to reach the end of a self-sufficient race across Europe. The route covered 4,500 kilometers and climbed more than 40 thousand meters from Gerardsbergen (Belgium) to Burgas (Bulgaria).

Strasser is considered the best long-distance cyclist in the world and has already won a race across America six times, at TCR celebrating his first in a race without external supplies. In the so-called self-sustaining races, any supervision of others is strictly prohibited and you must also choose the track yourself. People usually spend the night in roadside sleeping bags, no shower, and eat while riding, because every hour on the bike counts.

The big difference from his previous races was: “There is no support here. I had to plan the route myself, find places to sleep, buy food myself – mostly at gas stations, fix faults on the bike. The experience here was great. But most importantly All in all, after so many dips, I am amazed by the strong competition,” Strasser said before crossing the finish line.

Mental battle!

For a long time he was in ninth, only halfway through the race, making his way to third. In front of him were the best athletes from Germany on the scene: Adam Bialik and Ulrich Bartholmus. Even before Romania, the fourth and final checkpoint all drivers had to pass, Strasser managed to catch up with the chiefs.

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Phrase just caught

It became really difficult over the panoramic Transalpina road at more than 2,000 meters above sea level, where a climb of the size of Großglockner had to be taken: after the checkpoint, a long MTB track had to be negotiated with the 15 lb race bike kilograms. “I was able to get down on the ground somehow, stand up to me in the mud at times, and both of their favorites had holes or crashes in there. Luckily nothing happened to me.” He then headed toward the Danube, where he boarded the ferry just in time before Another 300 kilometers to finish.

an hour of sleep every night

From the start, Strasser followed the pattern of sleeping as much as possible for the first few days. “For a week, I’ve stuck to three hours of sleep each night faithfully. Only in the past few days have I cut it down to one hour because I felt like there was a chance of winning. Altogether, I’ve slept four times in hotels and four times in a sleeping bag—in the lawns or in a bus shelter in Czech Republic or on the balcony of a shopping mall,” says Strasser.

Of course, there were setbacks and drawbacks: “I made a lot of mistakes in the first few days, but last week went almost perfectly. I had some problems at first, especially with commuting. Now I’m finally looking forward to good food. In the past 10 days, it hasn’t been There was only Coca-Cola and Snickers, and there was occasional white bread from the gas station.”

Strasser summarized his experiences in a book, and he also regularly gives lectures on the topic of mental training.