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Olympian and ex-World Champion Pooley wins inaugural adventure race 'Further'

Emma Pooley dominates first edition of multi-terrain, cross-border Pyrenees endurance event. Photos: Further

George Smith
2 Sep 2019

Former professional cyclist turned multi-sport champion, Emma Pooley, has won the inaugural edition of Further - an adventure race deep in the Pyrenees that traverses roads, tracks, old smuggling routes and cross-border hikes between France, Andorra and Spain.

Despite only being a 529km route, the challenging parcours took competitors from standard roads to steep sheep tracks via rugged gravel paths - at times reaching heights of 2,540m, with bike carrying all but obligatory.

Finishing nearly 3 hours ahead of the next rider, upon completion Pooley said, ‘that was simply the most fun I’ve ever had on a bike. Right now, I’m sore and sleep-deprived and very happy to have a rest and amazing coffee.'

‘There were times when I wondered whether Further had designed the course as an elaborate and cruel experiment in performance art, but ultimately it was the most beautiful, challenging and happy experience I’ve ever had on a bike,’ she concluded.

In total, 27 riders took part in the first edition of the race, with only eight eventually making it over the finish line to complete the race in a testament to the extremity of the challenge.

Pooley’s success - and that of the eight other conquerors - vindicated the race organiser's belief that all competitors should race on an even footing, with an equal number of men and women finishing the endurance challenge.

It is the latest in a long line of titles for Pooley, who has gone on to enjoy huge success in both duathlon and triathlon since ending her illustrious professional cycling career for good in 2016.

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