One of road cycling’s toughest races has become even tougher – with Red Bull Timelaps, ‘the world’s only 25-hour bike race’, introducing a solo category for 2019.
Returning for a third year across 26-27 October, 1,000 riders will either compete solo or as part of a team of four on a custom 6.6km closed circuit at Windsor Great Park. The aim is to complete as many laps as possible. Registration for Red Bull Timelaps opens on 30 July.
The solo category will be open to riders who have prior experience of competing in solo 24-hour races, with entry at the race organiser’s discretion. Solo riders must bring a support crew member to assist in the pits and to be the point of contact for the race organisers.
Having taken part in every Red Bull Timelaps race since its inception, endurance cyclist Chris Hall said, ”I’ve always wanted to have a crack at it solo as a 25-hour race. I’ve done a fair few 24 hour races and the opportunity to see if I could push myself a bit further for that extra hour has always appealed to me. The race itself is a fun event, which has lots of good vibes, and I’ve also never raced the Power Hour, so to be able to do that in the 25-hour solo category definitely appeals to me.”
He added “Challenges like this are a real feat of endurance and being able to push yourself to the max for that amount of time is hard, but the adrenaline rush afterwards is rad!”
In the team category, only one rider from each team will be allowed on the course at any point, meaning participants have to demonstrate a mixture of strategic nous, endurance and a determination to push their body to the limit.
The infamous ‘Power Hour’, held between 2am and 3am when the clocks go back in October, will again give riders the chance to count one lap as two, adding to the importance of strategy throughout a long day in the saddle.
The event will once again be held at Windsor Great Park, situated just outside of London. The organisers add that the park’s well-surfaced, undulating and traffic-free roads will provide a perfect location for the race.
In the 2018 edition of the race, Team VeloElite U25 from Northamptonshire were crowned male champions for the second year in a row. They finished with an astonishing 146 laps after 25 hours of racing. A strong Power Hour ride, in which they completed eight laps proved critical to wrapping up the win ahead of their club mates Team Velo Elite RC (145 laps) and rivals Team Walrus (125 Laps).
Team Walrus included Team Katusha–Alpecin rider and current British time trial champion Alex Dowsett who completed the fastest lap on the main course in 8:42:03.
Specialized Women’s team were the overall winners in the female race in 208. They dominated the field early on and won with 118 laps, two more than Spokes BPC Racing who finished in second place. It was Specialized Women’s team’s first time at the event and they completed six Power Hour laps, with the fastest time of 07:43.
Entries for Red Bull Timelaps open at 10:00 BST on July 30 with a team entry costing £340. There will be a limited 250 team entries available (1,000 riders will compete in teams of four).