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Digital Subscriptions > Bikes Etc > March 2018 > INSIDE THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXTREME

INSIDE THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXTREME

Brutal, huge, controversial. Meet the 9,200 kilometre-long Trans-Siberian Extreme, the longest and toughest bike race on the planet…

Trans-Siberian Extreme ENDURANCE

Cuting across the great expanse of Russia, the Red Bull Trans- Siberian Extreme race runs from Moscow in the west to Vladivostok, close to North Korea in the east. In 2016, not one entrant completed its 9,200 kilometres, with harsh weather, and rough roads proving too much for every solo rider. The year before, its inaugural running had only a slightly higher success rate, with noted ultra-distance racer Kristof Allegaert winning by dint of being the only finisher.

The longest ultra race in the world, following the route of the famous railway line, the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme’s 14 stages cover around a quarter of the earth’s circumference. Nearly as long as all three Grand Tours combined and with riders forced to snatch sleep at the side of the road, it’s an unparalleled test of endurance that few who atempt succeed in finishing.

Last summer saw its third edition. However, as once again the riders dropped out one after the other, alongside tales of endurance and fortitude there also emerged allegations of favouritism and undue hardship out on the road.

AT THE FRONT OF THE RACE ANOTHER RIDER WAS DROPPED – 30% OF THE FIELD WAS GONE WITHIN THE OPENING HOURS

INTO THE UNKNOWN

For London-based rider Adrian O’Sullivan, both the Trans-Siberian’s wild location and the extreme distance were part of the appeal.

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