First Female Cyclist Completes 3,000 Mile Race Across Europe

The first woman to attempt and complete the event wanted to show that strong beats skinny

RAF Triathlete and Dassi Bikes rider Sue Pugh has become the first ever woman to complete the 3,000 mile Race Across Europe.

Pugh completed the event as part of Team Viribus Audax, alongside 3 other riders. They were raising money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers charity – but Pugh also had her own personal mission: to encourage females to be strong not skinny.

The riders, all of them Physical Training Instructors in the RAF, also set a new record for a team of four to complete the event – smashing the previous best set by Team Phoenix in 2013 by 27 hours.

Pugh’s Dassi bike

The ride began in France, snaking into Germany, Austria, Italy and Slovenia, before returning to France. The team of 4 managed to complete the mileage in eight days, 20 hours and 20 minutes, plus a sneaky 53 seconds, with apparently just 2.5 hours of sleep.

Nine support crew members followed the riders, who glugged down 104 litres a day, climbing mountains as they crossed the eastern Pyrenees to Spain, and along the rolling roads of Gibraltar.

After a little rest, Pugh said: “Completing this race and travelling through some of the countries, climbs and areas we have been through has been a truly fantastic experience for myself and the whole team.

“There have been various high’s and low’s but experiencing this in it’s entirety and being part of a truly memorable race is something that can never be taken away from any of us. As for being the first female to complete it, no one will ever take that away from me.”

After more inspiration? Check out our interview with Anna Buick, a cyclocross and mountain bike racer who had to re-learn to walk before she could race her bike after a crash.


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