Christoph Strasser has set a new record for cycling across Australia. The Austrian ultra-cyclist took six days 10 hours and 58 minutes to get from Cottesloe Beach in Perth to the Sydney Opera House.
“This is an incredible success for me,” he said via his website. “The last week threw everything at me, especially the weather was challenging: ranges between 10 and 44 degrees Celsius, from heat to heavy rain and head to tailwind, it had everything.
“I was worried about the heat across the Nullarbor and didn't expect the amount of rain at all. Unfortunately, I only had one rain outfit with me, so sometimes I had to borrow jackets off my crew."
SBS reports that Strasser’s eight-person support crew included a doctor, team manager, mechanics and media – but other than to provide jackets, it doesn’t sound like he particularly needed them other than to keep him sane. In 3,950km, he suffered just one puncture, plus a handful of low-key encounters with kangaroos and emus.
The previous record of seven days and eight hours was set by fellow Austrian Gerhard Gulewicz in 2007. Strasser managed to improve on that partly by sleeping for only 5h45m in total. He took his first break after 36 hours of riding and after that took just four more 45-minute rest stops.
The three-time winner of the Race Across America also holds the record for the greatest distance ridden on a road bike in 24 hours, after covering 556.856 miles (896.173km) at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin in 2015.