Here at The Adventurists HQ we’ve thrown open the doors to the toughest cycling event on the planet by opening entries to the World Cycle Race. Riders and adventurers interested interested in racing 18,000 miles are invited to apply for a place through the website.
The World Cycle Race 2014 will set off from London, Auckland and Singapore giving entrants from around the world an opportunity to start nearer to their home countries. The simultaneous launch will also encourage more international riders and give them more options for their route and direction; both important strategic decisions that will have a big impact on their speed around the planet and position on the leaderboard.
The race will be free to enter and feature self-supported and assisted classes plus a category for riders in pairs.
“We want this to be the kind of race that anyone off the street can pick up a bike and take on the planet,” says Tom Morgan, founder of The Adventurists. “It’s an absolute beast of an adventure and totally different to any other cycling race in the world. There are so many different factors thrown at the riders it’s not obvious who’ll win.”
The spring equinox (22nd March) has been chosen as the departure date so potential competitors have enough time to prepare and so that daylight conditions do not favour any particular location. London, Auckland and Singapore have also been chosen as locations which have featured in many past circumnavigations.
The fastest riders are expected to be in contention to break world records and set new benchmarks for the fastest circumnavigation by bike.
The current claimant on the Men’s World Record is Thomas Großerichter of Germany whose supported attempt was the first after Guinness World Records changed the rules to include total travel time and saw him return to Berlin in 105 days. Juliana Buhring is the current claimant to the Women’s record with a time of 152 days.
In 2012 Englishman Mike Hall took part in the rider led World Cycle Racing Grand Tour, setting a new record of 107 days which remains the fastest unsupported circumnavigation. The official Guinness World Record rules do not distinguish between supported and unsupported circumnavigations so all the riders taking part in 2014 are potential record breakers.
Mike Hall is now a World Cycle Race 2014 Ambassador and will chair the Race Rules Committee. Mike explains that while the unsupported challenge is close to his heart having ridden solo and unsupported himself, riders will also be able to use support vehicles and the race will be contested in three categories:
“The decision to use support or not can be a contentious issue in circumnavigation circles but at the end of the day each has their own appeal and we wouldn’t like to see one overshadow the other. By including both, plus the option to race in pairs, this can be a very accessible event and really let people push the boundaries and seek records without world cycle racing becoming the sole preserve of the well funded.”
Regardless of the category they choose, entrants will face the ultimate long distance bike race.