The organizers of the Transibérica Ultracycling events (Basajaun, Transpyrenees, Transiberica) just announced a new sleep deprivation rule for that requires a mandatory stoppage time during ultra-races based on total time riding. Learn more about their formula and weigh in with your opinion here…

Main photo by Rupert Hartley from 2022 Pan Celtic video

There’s no question that ultra-distance bikepacking races are won through determination, grit, and preparation, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that sleep deprivation plays a huge rule in these races as well. Most of the events recaps and winners’ posts we share here on the site involve some wild amount of distance travelled with little to no sleep, and it’s hard to imagine riding a bike with that level of sleep deprivation is completely safe. That’s where Transibérica Ultracycling’s new sleep deprivation rules come into play.

After five years of organizing long-distance events, Transiberica is instating a new sleep deprivation rule (or more accurately, an anti sleep deprivation rule) that requires racers to stop for a certain amount of time based on total time ridden. Their reasoning is that riders are increasingly pushing the limits when it comes to sleep deprivation and putting themselves in dangerous spots that can be avoided. Here’s the formula they’re using:

N period of 4h = (Total H/24) – 2

The organizers admit that intervening in the race may be an unpopular measure, but they insist that rest is incredibly important, especially with several consecutive days of maximum effort. By giving riders the choice of when to rest, they say they’re trying to have as minimal of an effect on the race as possible while helping provide a safe race environment.

Here’s an example they shared:

– 70 hours, 0 stops
– 90 hours, 1 stop
– 95 hours, 1 stop
– 97 hours, 2 stops
– 142 hours, 3 stops
– 146 hours, 4 stops

So, for any racing time beyond 72 hours, riders must make at least one four-hour stop every 24 hours.

What do you think? Let us know in the conversation below. Head over to to read more about the ruling.



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