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Fiona Kolbinger becomes first woman to win Transcontinental Road Race

Joe Robinson
6 Aug 2019

24-year-old German medical researcher makes history in Brest, France

Fiona Kolbinger has become the first woman to win the Transcontinental Road Race. The 24-year-old German cancer researcher crossed the finish line in Brest, France to storm to a dominant victory in the seventh edition of the multi-day, ultra-endurance race.

Kolbinger completed the incredible 4,000km distance from Burgas, Bulgaria to Brest, in the western tip of France, in 10 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes, finishing in the early hours of Tuesday 6th August.

While she becomes the first female to win the Transcontinental, the truly remarkable feat was that Kolbinger was not only making her Transcontinental debut but also her ultra-endurance race debut.

Throughout the race, she kept remarkably relaxed despite the stress of riding across the continent on minimal sleep.

Kolbinger limited herself to an average of four hours of sleep a night, mainly using a bivvy bag on roadsides, which helped her carve a considerable gap for most of the race.

By the fourth checkpoint in Le Bourg-d'Oisans in the French Alps, her lead over second placed Ben Davies was such that she even had time to play 'The Lions Sleeps Tonight' on a piano to race volunteers.

To complete the journey, Kolbinger kept to an average distance of 400km per day, which involved 15 to 18 hours per day in the saddle. She put a considerably larger effort on day four to cover 474.94km in one effort.

Details about Kolbinger, how she trained for the event and her riding history before the event are pretty sparce, limited to the knowledge that she lives in Dresden, Germany and races for the Eppelheim Poseidon triathlon club.

However, with this recent result in mind, that's likely to change in the coming days.

While Kolbinger will now be able to reflect on her achievement, having earned some well-earned rest, the remaining field will continue is battle across Europe to reach the finish line.

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