(AFP) – German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger won the mixed annual 4,000km cycling Transcontinental Race on Monday, becoming the first woman to do so.
Kolbinger, 24, arrived in Brest, north-west France, after 10 days 2hrs and 48 minutes in the saddle since starting the seventh edition of the race in Bulgaria on July 27.
“I am so, so surprised to win. Even now,” said Kolbinger, one of 40 women in a field of 265 riders. “When I was coming into the race I thought that maybe I could go for the women’s podium, but I never thought I could win the whole race… I think I could have gone harder. I could have slept less.”
She passed through at least seven countries and four check-points one of which was the Col du Galibier at 2,645m in the French Alps in a course where riders have to plan, research and navigate themselves.
They also carry and consume what they can find and choose when and where to rest.
The more than 260 remaining competitors, racing as solo male and females as well as in pairs are expected to cross the finish line over the coming hours and days.