If there's an event to test your mind, body and every fibre of your being as a cyclist, then it's the Trans Am.
This legendary solo cycling event has been drawing riders from all over the world for being the ultimate test of endurance, whilst taking in the breath-taking scenery that the United States have to offer.
Kicking off at the weekend from Astoria, Oregon, 63 prepared and eager riders turned up to take on the challenge. Amongst the competitors were 9 women, the most that the event has ever seen, and they all mean business.
The Trans Am Stats
So what makes this race so different from the rest, let's have a look:
- DISTANCE: 7,080 kilometre (4,400 mile) - Double the distance of the Tour de France
- STAGES: 10
- DURATION: 16 - 40 days
- REST STOPS: 0
- SUPPORT VEHICLES: 0
- TYPE: Solo and Pairs - This is the first year the event has allowed pairs to ride
With no support vehicles, pit stops or assistance, the Trans Am is the very definition of a solo event. Each rider will have to repair and maintain their own bikes, and find themselves places to sleep... no cosy hotel beds for these cyclists.
Having to battle the elements, exhaustion, dehydration, mechanicals and mental fatigue, all 63 cyclists will have to pull everything from their energy stores to make it through.
Sarah Hammond in the Lead
We've been tracking the riders online, and at the front of the pack is Australian cyclist, Sarah Hammond. Riding a Curve titanium bike, Sarah has broken away from the pack to gain some serious distance between herself and Steffen Streich, who's in second.
Sarahs' conquered some feats of strength both road and off road. Last year, Sarah rode non-stop for 800km, from Melbourne to Adelaide in little over 30 hours. Having this and a number of other adventure cycling achievements, it's safe to say that Sarah Hammond has been training hard for the Trans Am.
Let's see if Sarah can hold her pace, and her lead throughout the next couple of weeks.
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