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Some cyclists have already completed the Rapha Festive 500 ... on Day 1

Riders in Far East and Australia ride 500 kilometres on Christmas Eve to nail annual challenge

It's Christmas Eve, which for around 70,000 cyclists worldwide means just one thing  - the start of the Rapha Festive 500.

> Rapha Festive 500 back for an eighth year

But, given that it's currently early afternoon in the UK and the middle of the night on the West Coast of the United States, if you're  in Europe or the Americas, you may wish top look away now.

Because, while you were sleeping, the 500 kilometres that participants are tasked with racking up from 24-31 December had already been completed by several cyclists in the Far East and Australia.

Currently top of the leaderboard on Strava is Patrick Ng from Malaysia, with an impressive 584 kilometres. He's followed by Tokyo-based Philippe Masawa.

Rapha Festive 500 leader board 24 Decemnber 2017.PNG

Meanwhile, Ian Parnell and his friend Cameron Hinde from Brisbane, Australia, rode laps of a circuit at a local park to polish off the 500 kilometres, with Parnell edging over the 10,000-kilometre mark for the year in the process.

Ian Parnell Festive 500 2017 via Strava.PNG

He wrote on Strava: "Let's do Rapha 500 in a day Cam will be fun he said! #aerofordays Thanks for all the tows friends and Nundah crit regulars."

It won't be lost on cyclists in the Northern Hemisphere wrapping themselves up warmly to start the challenge today that the Australian pair will be enjoying rather different conditions - more hours of daylight, and an average high of 30 degrees Celsius during December, although rain and thunderstorms are forecast for Queensland in the days ahead.



Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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