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 threaten 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 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 more steep 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 second position and they were also under the previous record. Team Make a Wish Waterford finished third ahead of Team Jack.
For further details see racearoundireland.com