Other than being gifted a bike, other promises of sponsorship have failed to materialise, leaving her to fund these extreme ventures – and the financial aftermath – alone. She just received her first free clothing from Chapeau! – previously opting for the cheapest men’s clothes she could find.
Buhring says where many athletes find sponsors with ease, she has, to date, done everything, as with the rides themselves, unsupported.
“I’m not from anywhere, so maybe it’s a case of people get behind their country’s athletes. I grew up in Asia and Africa, I was born in Greece, my dad is actually Welsh, my mum is German. And I grew up in over 30 countries around the world.”
Of course this hasn’t stopped Buhring in the past, and it doesn’t look like it will stop her now. As well as tackling the TransContinental again, this year she is hoping to ride across Italy in 24 hours, as well as an unsupported 500km race around the Dolomites – a race in which she is the only woman to sign up so far.
Increasingly, however, she is not the only woman taking part in these epic challenges: in 2014 two women completed the TransContinental, doubled from 2013. The women’s winner, Pippa Handley, completed the race in around Juliana’s time of 12 days, and Buhring clearly relishes the thought of the two of them going head to head this year.
So what is the future for ultra-endurance female cyclists, for those fearless few willing to put themselves through this ordeal?
“I think now there are starting to be some women who are going for it, and that’s cool to see. Particularly with these races across continents I think women are getting interested in it. Every year the numbers are growing. ”
Ultra endurance is certainly not for everyone, but Buhring sums it up nicely:
“How much you suffer or how much you enjoy a race like this one is all in the mind. I think the same is true of life.”