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The response to the previous material about the cyclists who in a few months will take part in the Ultra-Cycling World Championships during the third edition of the Race Around Poland confirmed that it is worth introducing their profiles and achievements, thus also contributing to the popularisation of long-distance cycling. As we wrote in the first part of the material, apart from a strong Polish representation on the route around our country, we will see riders from Brazil, India, the USA, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Sweden and Serbia and Latvia. Also athletes from Austria, Italy and Slovenia have now joined the ever-growing list!

There is still plenty of time left until the end of registration, so we are sure that this is just the beginning and the start lists of the 2023 edition will host many more participants, including many from the world's top long-distance cycling team.

Who will be the World Champion?

On the World Championship start list, in addition to the prominent figures described earlier, we have some additional names of outstanding athletes and we are already looking forward to seeing them compete for the title!

Among the contenders for the titles of World Ultracycling Champion we will therefore see, among others:

  • Current 24 Hour World Champion Philipp Kaider - a young Austrian rider who took part in the 2022 World Ultra Cycling Championships in the 24-hour individual time trial category in Borrego Springs, California, and won the world title with a distance of 856 kilometres. Philipp Kaider is thus one of only two riders to have surpassed 850 kilometres in this competition and one of eight riders to have reached 500 miles. He is a specialist in 24-hour rides individually and in relay races and has previously won the German Cup (2018) in this discipline. Independently, he has repeatedly competed individually and in a relay at Race Around Austria (2021. - first place and individual course record of 1,500 km, 2022 second place, 2017 - first place for the two-person relay) and Race Around Niederösterreich (2021, 2020 - second place).
  • The 2021 European Ultracycling Champion, German, Rainer Steinberger - in 2021 he took first place in Race Across Italy (790 km) during which the WUCA European Championships were held. Rainer's impressive resume additionally includes: victory twice in Race Around Austria (2019, 2020), victory in Race across Germany (2019), unofficial world championship twice - first and third place open in "Glocknerman", first places in: Velofondo 24 h (2017) 24 h "Schinderai", Rad am Ring (2016) (new course record), Race Around Slovenia (2015) in a relay with Perr Bischof (2015). Identified by Christoph Strasser to RAAM organisers as a contender for the Race Across America trophy in 2020. He is another rider with extensive sporting experience. He started his adventure in martial arts, then took an interest in triathlon and competed in Ironman distance events in many places around the world.
  • Titled Slovenian David "Riki" Rihtarič - representative of the Slovenian Armed Forces cycling club, several times elected the best military athlete of the year. A multiple participant in the most prestigious ultra cycling competitions in Europe, in which he placed highly. He has participated in Race Around Austria three times, including winning this race once (2009), and taking second place the following year. His list of starts also includes Race Across the Alps, Race Around Slovenia, 24 h Montello, Race Across Italy. Riki is also a mountain runner and marathon runner. He has run a marathon under 2 hours and 30 minutes (2:27)!

We will continue our list of World Championship contenders, in the meantime ....

Welcome back!

We can welcome the entire podium of the Race Around Poland crown distance from the 2022 edition in the unsupported category to the start list! Jarek "Kurier" Kedziorek, Kamil "Cyklokot" Kotkowski and a true RAP veteran (this will be his third start!) - Robert Woźniak - will set off on the route again in July 2023! Jarek is actually also setting off for the third time, but in the first edition he covered the route in tandem with Patrycja Kuter. The rivalry between these three gentlemen electrified the ultra cycling community in 2022 and the next edition promises to repeat the excitement!

However, there are more participants of previous editions on the start list. The 3,600 km route will again be tackled by: Olaf Teleszyński, the unlucky Swede Martin Rosen-Lidholm, Paweł Woronowicz, Marta Gryczko, Mateusz Kozik and Mariusz Olszewski. Dawid Salamon, creator of the Filipowe Kilometres partner initiative, will also be setting off on the route for the third time, but in 2023 for the ½ RAP. This time he will not be accompanied by Grzegorz Jończyk, who has decided to start for the third time, but this time on the RAP Challenge route, where he will be competed against by Marta Kaczmarczyk (for the second time in the RAP). We also have Justyna Krygier on the list again - this time Justka targets Szklarska Poręba - the finish line of "1/2 RAP"

The large number of returns to the RAP route is doubly gratifying, as it is confirmation that the event has found favour in the eyes of its participants, and confirmation that it made sense to create an event where raising the bar year on year for the participant is part of the DNA!

In this context, it is worth noting the special returns, which are proof that participation in the event can be part of consistently building experience and motivation to push one's own barriers. These returns make us even happier, which is why we are very pleased that in 2023 we will again see, among others, Piotr Kostrzewski, who, after competing at 300 km in the RAP Challenge, decided to sign up for the ¼ RAP distance (900 km), as did Krzysztof Bendkowski! The more experienced riders who have decided to increase the distance from year to year and start at the same distance as Piotr and Krzysztof in 2023 are Matthew Stevens, and the winner of the 2022 RAP Challenge - Cezary Wójcik. The competition over this distance promises to be particularly interesting, as the start list also includes the winner of the Polish Ultra Cup open - Tomasz Madzia, who has signed up for the first time. We hope that in future years we will see them at longer distances, or on a full loop!

There was also announced the record holder of the full route with support: Arvis Sprude. Currently Latvian is on the list for a distance of 300 km, but we know that he is considering the World Championship (3600 km solo with support)

Photo: Damian Ługowski (RAP 2022 - Robert Woźniak)

  • Author: Mateusz Przygodzki
  • Date: 17.04.2024