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Christoph Strasser pulverizes Trans-Australia World Record in Sydney

17 January 2017

The 34-year old ultra-cyclist from Austria has done it: Christoph Strasser set a new World Record with his project “World Record Down Under powered by owayo”, defeating the previous one by a good 490 kilometres! With an official riding time of 6 days 10 hours and 58 minutes from Perth to Sydney he is now the new course record holder and claims an entry into the Guiness Book of Records!

After three victories at the Race Across America and the Race Around Austria each, a World Championship title in the 24-hour individual time trial, the 24-hour Outdoor World Record and many other achievements during his cycling career, as of today Christoph Strasser can call himself the Australian record holder! The Austrian completed the trans-Australian crossing from Perth to Sydney in only 6 days 10 hours and 58 minutes, which was quite clearly below his personal goal of a maximum of seven days. In 1998 his fellow Austrian Wolfgang Fasching set a record across Australia with 7 days 19 hours, which was beaten in 2007 by Gerhard Gulewicz, also an Austrian, with 7 days, 8 hours. 

“This is an incredible success for me. The last week threw everything at me, especially the weather was challenging: ranges between 10 and 44 degrees Celcius, from heat to heavy rain and head- to tailwind, it had everything”, cheered the Strasser at the finish in Sydney who has been promoting the ultra-cycling sport world-wide. “I was worried about the heat across the Nullabor 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 of my crew”, he recounted the ride. 

Victorious on only 5:45h sleep

Last Tuesday at 5pm AEDT (2pm AWST) the adventure started in Perth. After Christoph rode the first 36 hours non-stop, he took the first 45 minute nap. After that he only had another four 45 minute breaks, which added up to only 5:45 minutes over the course of an entire week. “The fact that I completed the trans-Australian crossing on such little sleep is another record-achievement. I have a team that knows me inside-out and that has been working together so well for years –  again they were really able to motivate me and keep me going when the tiredness hit”, he praised his crew of eight friends, which included a doctor and team manager, mechanics as well as a media crew. 

Only one mechanical and roadkill out on course

Throughout his record ride he added he was pleased not to get too close to the dangerous Australian creatures in the Outback. Twice he got scared by kangaroos crossing the road right in front of him and yesterday huge Emus were showing some interest in the Strasser-circus as it rolled past them. “Otherwise, I saw a lot of roadkill alongside the course and some cockroaches were making life hell for the support crew in the camper van”, he grinned. Also his Specialized bikes and the perfectly tuned equipment around it was spared – only one flat tire after 3,600 kilometers, descending on the Roubaix bike.  

Australian riders amused first, amazed after

Riding across the continent in January is a bad idea, many fellow local cyclists were determined to believe ahead of the start. Sentiments included that it was going to be hot, the wind across the Nullabor Plains surely would blow Strasser right back to Perth, there was no way any human could withstand the harsh conditions in the Outback. However, as the days unfolded and the determination of him and his crew got stronger and the results and kilometres ridden started to add up, a real fan base started to build up across the country. “We felt so welcome by all the Australians we met along the road, so many cheered us on and even came out before work in Wagga Wagga, where the local riders put together a downright fan fest”, Strasser raved about the local hospitality he and his crew experienced, adding that his crew was reading emails and comments on his website and social media platforms to keep him motivated throughout the ride. "It means a lot to me that so many people from all across Australia and the world have been following my adventure and have wished me well", he said. 

Beach life in Sydney is next

“For now, all I want is a nap and some real food again”, said Strasser as he stood this morning, gazing across the harbour, in awe back and forth from Harbour Bridge to Opera House. “We'll stay for a week, have organised a house for the crew in Bondi, so we'll be jumping into the ocean and enjoying the sights of Sydney and surrounds to recover”, he said of what was ahead of him, dreaming of, “A nice barbecue, some burgers and some cold drinks....” - Looks like he feels right at home Down Under already.

To dive into Christoph's week on his bike, please watch the following three Webisodes: 


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