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OTHER CYCLING : Sundry Items Last Updated: 5 Sep 2019 - 8:26:03 AM

Pierre Bischoff confirmed as the champion of RA!2019
By Georgie Francis
30 Aug 2019,

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Pierre Bischoff after his winning performance in Race Around Ireland 2019.


Former RAAM Champion Pierre Bischoff Secures Another Title After Conquering Europe’s Toughest Bike Race

After more than five days of near-continuous bike riding, Pierre Bischoff turned the corner into Trim GAA to be confirmed as the champion of Race Around Ireland 2019.

The 34-year-old was never headed throughout and he stretched his advantage in the final 24 hours to reach the finish line with a clear advantage of more than 140km over nearest rival Philip Culbert after 2160km of riding in Europe’s toughest Ultracycling Event.

Bischoff completed the event in 101 hours and 55 minutes for an average speed of 21.19kmh, a speed which included the infrequent stops.

The German rider extended his lead over Philip Culbert on the difficult overnight passage through the Kerry Mountains on Wednesday night and by the time they emerged into Cork as daybreak arrived he was more than 100km clear of his nearest rival.

Shrugging off the broken collarbone which had threatened to derail his pre-race plans, Bischoff never faltered and said afterwards that his greatest challenge was when he was forced to take a break while the crew changed a wheel on their car in the Kerry Mountains.

Pierre Bischoff: "I was prepared to go fast in the mountains, in the section with the special prize, then I had to have a sleeping break which I hadn't planned, it destroyed my rhythm a little bit. We just lost 20 minutes, but it wasn't planned in my mind and so I was a bit confused and then I got tired because every time something takes something out of your concentration, you can't get focused. That was my problem in that section.

"But the whole race is crazy because.. I know Russia because of the last two years and this is really similar because everywhere up and down, but it's steeper here, so it's really hard.

"I'm happy to arrive at the finish without accidents, that's the most important thing. Then after a few days, I'll realise what has happened here, what I've made for myself. For myself, it was a really important race, also for my crew and a good finish for myself and that's important."

Culbert’s progress through Munster has kept him well clear of third-place man Graham Macken who overhauled Scotland’s William McLennan on Wednesday morning.

On a day when Whiteriver Wheelers excelled to confirm their status as the two-man champions, all but the final four solo riders were left out on course in their quest to finish within the cut off time of 132 hours.

Just over an hour and a half later, Carn Wheelers completed their ride in the second position and they were also under the previous record. Team Make a Wish Waterford finished third ahead of Team Jack.


VIDEO: Bischoff Rides to Glory After Almost 102 Hours



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Day 4

Race Around Ireland: Bischoff Continues to Lead on Day Four

Former RAAM Champion Pierre Bischoff Bids for Another Title in Europe’s Toughest Bike Race

Heading into the fourth night of Race Around Ireland Pierre Bischoff continues to lead the solo rider category in Europe’s toughest Ultracycling Event.

Pierre Bischoff leading Race Around Ireland on Tuesday.


The German rider extended his lead over Philip Culbert on the difficult overnight passage through the Kerry Mountains and emerging into Cork as daybreak arrived he was more than 100km clear of his nearest rival.

Bischoff further extended his lead through the day and as night fell on day four, he was more than 140km clear despite suffering from various aches and “a little fever” which he described as “normal” for in ultra-cycling.

Culbert’s progress through Munster has kept him well clear of new third place man Graham Macken who overhauled Scotland’s William McLennan in the Kerry mountains on Wednesday morning.

It’s been a tough day for all riders with Nicholas Longworth forced to retire with Shermer’s Neck, the muscular fatigue peculiar to ultra-cycling. Tucker Sorrell, Aoife Henry and John Musgrove were all forced to retire on Wednesday while double champion Valerio Zamboni is pushing on in fifth.

Whiteriver Wheelers are in a class of their own in the two-rider category, more than two time stations clear of The Wombats who are I a terrific fight for second with Tirconaill Wheelers with Beech Boys still on target to become the first father and son combination to complete Race Around Ireland.

Already home are the four-rider crew of Velo Club Balrothery who comfortably won the four-rider category from Team Recycled with Team Joy Riders hoping to hang on for third ahead of Box of Cogs despite being down to two riders.

Earlier in the day, H8 Lawlor’s comfortably headed three teams which beat the eight-person record, the winners racing home at an eye-watering average speed of 34kmh.

Just over an hour and a half later, Carn Wheelers completed their adventure in second position and they were also under the previous record. Team Make a Wish Waterford finished third ahead of Team Jack.

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Day 2

Race Around Ireland: Bischoff and Culbert Duel For Glory on Day Two

Former RAAM Champion Pierre Bischoff Bids for Another Title in Europe’s Toughest Bike Race

With over a day in their legs, Pierre Bischoff and Philip Culbert were engaged in a terrific battle for solo race honours in Race Around Ireland 2019.

Having rarely been more than 10km apart, Germany’s Bischoff had prised open a gap of around 30km over his Dublin rival as they raced through Mayo with just over 700km of the 2150km race total in their legs.

Bischoff, the 2016 Race Across America winner and pre-event favourite, was showing no ill-effects from the collarbone break he suffered recently, though his advantage remains precariously thin and less than a single sleep-break ahead of Irish Ultra Champion Culbert.

The first prize of the week has already been decided in favour of Bischoff who was fastest through Section 4 between TS03 Coleraine and TS04 Malin Head to win the Joe Roche Award.

The sole solo woman rider Aoife Henry was riding strongly in the middle of a busy group of riders racing through County Sligo as darkness fell on Monday evening.

In the two-person category, Whiteriver Wheelers continue their relentless progress and riding through County Galway are well clear of a great battle for second between the Wombats, Tyrconnell Wheelers and The Beech Boys.

The four-person category is still being led by Velo Club Balrothery who hold a comfortable lead over Team Recycled heading for Ballyvaghan as their nearest rivals exited Galway City.

Approaching half distance for the first squad on the road, H8 Lawlors are still ahead of record schedule in the eight-person fight, though the daunting mountains in Kerry beckon which could offer Carn Wheelers an opportunity to close the 50km gap.

For further details see racearoundireland.com
And to follow the progress of all the competitors see the live tracker:

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Race Around Ireland: Perfect Weather for Start of 11th Edition

Pierre Bischoff at the Race Around Ireland start in Trim, County Meath today


Former Champion Zamboni Bids for Another Title in Europe’s Toughest Bike Race

Pierre Bischoff and Philip Culbert led the way in the early stages as the 11th edition of Race Around Ireland got underway today.

Former winner Valerio Zamboni was the final rider off the ramp in Trim, Co Meath with 2200km of near non-stop riding in prospect as Ireland’s toughest sporting challenge began under blue skies.

The ride around the circumference of Ireland attracts world-class ultra-endurance riders from Ireland and further afield including Germany’s 2016 Race Across America Champion Pierre Bischoff who shrugged off a broken collarbone to trade positions with Ireland’s Philip Culbert as the riders race north along the eastern seaboard towards Northern Ireland.

The solo riders were the final competitors into action after the eight-person, four-person and two-person relay teams had begun their epic journey from the picturesque surroundings of Trim Castle during the Salmon of Knowledge Festival in the historic Meath town.

With full support crews for all teams and solo riders, Race Around Ireland is a logistical, physical and mental challenge without parallel in Ireland and among the toughest events in the extreme world of ultra-cycling.

Only the most talented, committed and organised can even hope to enter Race Around Ireland and the time limits imposed mean that recording a finish elevates riders and teams to legendary status.

Culbert, from Dublin, is a member of Scott Orwell Wheelers and an experienced ultra cyclist having won the companion event the Irish Ultra Challenge in 2018 over approximately half of the distance of its big brother.

In Bischoff, he faces a rival who won the original ultra-cycling event Race Across America, or RAAM, in 2016. Bischoff, though, broke his collarbone recently and his ability to rest his arms on the handlebars and get out of the saddle on the frequent climbs that make the RAI course one of the toughest will be sorely tested this week.

Graham Macken, William MacLennan, Nicholas Longworth, Tucker Sorrell, Valerio Zamboni and John Musgrove were all closely packed as darkness descended on the opening night while the only woman riding solo, Aoife Henry, was also riding strongly at the conclusion of day one.

Among the teams, the experienced two-rider combination of Peter McKeown and Andy McAfee from Whiteriver Wheelers had caught and passed their rivals by Lough Neagh on Day One in a clear statement of intent.

James and Norman Beech from Britain lay second overnight in their bid to become the first father and son combination to complete Race Around Ireland.

Among the four-rider squads, Velo Club Balrothery’s quartet of John McCormack, Edward Guildea, Martin Casey and Gareth Dargle were charging up to the north coast on day one with a useful advantage over Team Recycled

The fastest teams are generally the eight-man crews and on day one, H8 Lawlors and Carn Wheelers were trading blows some way clear of Team Make a Wish Waterford.

The solo riders in the companion event the Irish Ultra Challenge were also well into their first day of racing around 1100km of the northern half of the island with Tony Keane and Christopher Beattie locked in combat, closely followed by Noel Cusack and Sean Hernon.

For further details see racearoundireland.com
And to follow the progress of all the competitors see the live tracker: https://gps.blackblox.si/race/54


#RAI2019

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About Race Around Ireland

Race Around Ireland is regarded as one of the toughest cycling challenges in the world and will take the racers on a 2,150km journey past some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland. The route takes in Newgrange, The Causeway Coast, Malin Head, The Cliffs of Moher, The Ring of Kerry, Mizen Head, the Garden County (Wicklow) and back to Trim in County Meath and ALL within a week.

The Irish Ultra Challenge is a 1,100km race and is seen as being the perfect stepping-stone into the world of ultra-cycling. Solo riders have 68 hours to finish. There is no team division in the Irish Ultra Challenge.

For more information, please:

[ Visit Website ]



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