Having pedaled nearly the entire 1,300-kilometer route alone at the front of the pack, Max Gaumnitz took first place at this year’s Trans Balkan Race, arriving in Risan, Montenegro, at 10:14 p.m. local time last night.
Max settled into the lead early in the race and averaged a mere two hours of rest per day. Other than a short 30-minute stretch of time when he rode with, he held his position right until the end. According to Max, the weather was perfect—not too hot or warm—and he enjoyed the daily showers. The organizers report Max looking fresh at the finish line last night. His race wasn’t entirely without issue, though, and at one point, his cranks were strapped together to keep them from falling apart. After stopping every hour to tighten them, he eventually improvised a fix using bolts from his aero bars to continue riding. Reflecting on his race, Max said the route traversed the most fascinating landscapes he’s ever seen and challenged him in every way.
Rufus Wenlock finished in second place aboard his unusual self-made SÜFUR frame, arriving in Risan at 9:40 a.m. local time today. There are still many riders out on the course, and heaps have scratched from the race, citing everything from stomach issues to knee pain—the usual suspects in ultra-endurance events such as this one. Markéta Marvanová is sitting in first place in the women’s category and fifth place overall. As of yesterday, she reported riding for a total of 110 hours and stopping for only 17 of those.
Congratulations to Max! You can head over to the event page to follow the remaining riders live.
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