A dream becomes reality!
The time has come! Team Vorarlberg Santic will start next Wednesday in the “Race Around Austria” for the toughest race in Europe – a completely new and great challenge!
This year is just different! And that’s exactly why the Vorarlberg team is the first UCI professional team in history to face this somewhat more than “crazy” challenge!
After the successful performance of Alexis Guerin at the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc in France (2nd place in the overall classification), we are now moving to the Race Around Austria!
What is the Race Around Austria?
The RAA is an ultra cycling race with a fairly simple mode. To complete the outer border of Austria in NONSTOP mode day and night as quickly as possible. Sounds easy, but it is not. And that is exactly why this race has the packaging of „the toughest race in Europe“! The athletes start in different classes, also in shorter distances, in solo, 2 and 4 competitions!
With Christoph Strasser (AUT), the six-time winner of the Race across America, are the best ultra cycling athlete also in the competiton!
The Vorarlberg Santic team starts in the 4-rider team competition on the longest and hardest route over 2200 kilometers and 30,000 meters in altitude!
Team line-up – facts:
Going into the race for the Vorarlberg Santic team:
Daniel Geismayr (30) AUT Johannes Schinnagel (24) GER
Felix Meo (23) NZL Jack Burke (25) CAN
Start and destination: St. Georgen am Attersee (Upper Austria)
Start time: August 12th at 9 p.m. for Team Vorarlberg Santic
Finish: August 15th morning / noon
Route length: 2170 kilometers
Elevation gain: 30,000 meters
Track record: 2 days 13 hours 37 minutes (Year 2015)
Number of supervisors: 10 STAFF (3 vehicles: Pace Car, Bus, Camper)
THE PLAN – the tactics – the rhythm – non-stop into the night – in wind and weather – stay safe!
- The four Team Vorarlberg Santic riders split into two teams of two. Jack Burke with Felix Meo, Daniel Geismayr with Johannes Schinnagel.
- Each rider duo rides six hours. The other duo goes back in the camper and can relax for six hours until the next handover.
- There is always only one Pro rider on the course. The duo alternates permanently in a rhythm of 20-30 minutes. The other rider is transferred to the front.
That means: every rider almost always has to go to the limit in his interval!
- The route is not closed, there are no direction markings. The route is fixed by the organizer. The riders have Lezyne GPS devices and lighting systems on their bikes so they don’t stray from the route.
- The main navigation is carried out via Radio Tour Funk from the pace car to the athletes. The pace car drives directly behind the rider.
- Bike changes allowed! When things go flat in Lower Austria, Burgenland or Carinthia, then up on the super-fast Argon18 time trial machines. Light mountain bikes are ridden over the Großglockner, Kühtai, Silvretta, Hochtannbergpass and the other big mountains.
- The night? Is meant for sleeping normally – not in next days in the RAA. This is the particular challenge for the pro riders and Staff members. Three nights on the bike lie ahead. Completely new terrain for the professionals and Staff, also in terms of sleep deprivation, plus the catering for the athletes.
- The great unknown = the weather. 35 degrees in Burgenland. Thunderstorms, cold temperatures and rain in the mountains. Everything will and can be there.
- And always in the focus of everyone: The safety of the riders and supervisor – this is subordinate to everything!
Team captain – Daniel Geismayr: “I’m really happy about participating in RAA Austria this year. It will be my longest race so far. Still, I can’t wait to get started. I love challenges and this race will definitely be one. “
The goal? Team Manager Thomas Kofler:
“On the one hand, a daring affair for our team. On the other hand, a big but manageable task over 2170 kilometers. Not only to the Pro`s, but also to the staff personal, like seldom before, down to the last detail due to the constant rider changes, navigating, repairing defects during the race – and everything that still comes as great unknowns. The other teams had been preparing meticulously for 12 months. We here from the current racing programm. My right hand in the Team Office Jürgen Schatzmann did a great job here. Together with some allies, he organized perfect maps and put together a great team of supervisors – we are well prepared as far as we can.
And yet – we have to stay on the track, because the fastest legs are useless if we keep getting lost. That sounds a bit strange, but it will be the biggest work for us in the cars behind the riders.
THE GOAL: Sure – we want to and will tackle the “Course Record” operation. But everything has to fit. We have a veteran in Daniel Geismayr, but we have mainly nominated young guys. With Guerin, Thalmann, Stüssi a. Co., it would be a little more manageable – but we want to develop young athletes – and with the RAA they are guaranteed to make a leap forward, including many impressions. Let the games begin – we’re all looking forward to it.
Thanks to the organizer around Michael Nussbaumer, who always motivates us to be there! “
Video 2019: https://www.youtube.com/user/racearoundaustria