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They're off! The world's longest bike race covering 9,200 km across Siberia

By Olga Gertcyk
06 July 2016

Pedal power challenge as the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme ultra-stage bicycle race heads from Moscow to Vladivostok.

The epic 9,200 kilometre (5,716 mile) route will last 24 days in 14 stages  to reach the Russian Pacific coast on 28 July. Picture: Jaanus Ree/Red Bull Content Pool.

Ten riders set out from Moscow on 5 July for the gruelling longest bicycle stage race in the world. The epic 9,200 kilometre (5,716 mile) route will last 24 days in 14 stages  to reach the Russian Pacific coast on 28 July.

The stages vary in length from 300 km to 1,400 km across five climate zones, seven time zones, the Ural Mountains and four of the longest rivers in the world. 

Participants will ride along the borders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, covering a total of 79,000 metres of ascent.

Map of the route

Participants will ride along the borders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, covering a total of 79,000 metres of ascent. Picture: Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

The solo riders are Andreas Fuchs (Austria), Eduard Fuchs (Austria), Pascal Pich (France) and Alexey Shebelin (Russia). Duo riders are: Martin Temmen and Matthias Fischer (Germany), Evgeniy Borisov and Leonid Krasnov (Russia), and Mikhail Manyachin and Roman Markaryan (Russia).


Guide through stages

Stage 1: Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod

Distance: 429km

Elevation range: 122m

The first stage of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme utlra-marathon race is the Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod route. Athletes will have to ride 418km along the M-7 'Volga' federal highway, which runs parallel to Europe's longest river, the Volga.

Stage 2: Nizhny Novgorod – Kazan

Distance: 391km

Elevation range: 154m

Stage two will go through the next section of M-7 federal highway along the Volga River. Athletes will ride across the Nizhny Novgorod region, and the Chuvashia and Tatarstan Republics, seeing many architecturally unique Russian cities and towns, all steeped in history and surrounded by picturesque landscapes.

Stage 3: Kazan – Perm

Distance: 693km

Elevation range: 212m

The amateur and professional bike riders will face a difficult third stage, travelling over 693km and going through three Russian regions – Tatarstan, Udmurtia and Perm Krai. On their way they'll be crossing more than 40 rivers.

Start in Moscow


Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

The race has started on July 5 in Moscow. Pictures: Pavel Sukhorukov, Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Stage 4: Perm – Yekaterinburg

Distance: 331km

Elevation range: 342m

The route will follow the P-242 federal highway through the cities, towns and villages of the Perm and Sverdlovsk Region. On their way to the finish line of the stage in Yekaterinburg, athletes will cross the Europe-Asia border riding through the spectacularly scenic landscape of the Ural mountains.

Stage 5: Yekaterinburg – Tyumen

Distance: 319km

Elevation range: 219m

Despite its relatively short distance, this stage can hardly be described as easy. Riders will be tested by rough roads as they take the Yekaterinburg-Tyumen route along the federal P-354 highway, which is also known as the back-up road for the Siberian Highway.

Stage 6: Tyumen – Omsk

Distance: 619km

Elevation range: 83m

On this section of the road the cyclists will pass through a group of small, but fascinating Siberian cities: each one has its own ancient history and separate identity. The participants will have to cross about 15 rivers across the West Siberian Plain, while the climate will be changing as they travel further east.

Stage 7: Omsk – Novosibirsk

Distance: 619km

Elevation: 101m

Stage seven will be a night start; the participants will be able to enjoy the night views along the banks of the rivers of Irtysh and Om. Arriving in Russia's third-largest city, Novosibirsk, the next day to continue their route after a short rest. 

Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme


Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

Stage seven will be a night start; the participants will be able to enjoy the night views along the banks of the rivers of Irtysh and Om. Pictures: Denis Klero, Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Stage 8: Novosibirsk – Krasnoyarsk

Distance: 803km

Elevation: 316m

The eighth stage of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme race will start in Novosibirsk and finish in Krasnoyarsk. The large difference in elevation between the Kemerovo and Krasnoyarsk regions means a great diversity of local landscapes and the participants will see Siberia in all its splendour.

Stage 9: Krasnoyarsk – Irkutsk

Distance: 1,094km

Elevation range: 495m

The ninth stage is the second-longest of the race and will follow the Krasnoyarsk – Irkutsk route along the P-255 highway. Athletes will have to cross more than 20 rivers, including the mighty Yenisei and the beautiful Angara, and will ride through many cities and towns. Luckily they'll have the following day as a rest day, with time to explore Irkutsk before setting off again.

Stage 10: Irkutsk – Ulan-Ude

Distance: 447km

Elevation range: 578m

The route will be via the picturesque banks of the deepest freshwater lake on the Earth – Lake Baikal. The Baikal is the deepest, oldest, clearest, cleanest and the largest volume of fresh water in the world. Boasting the highest level of biodiversity, it's home to amazing flora and fauna, putting the lake on Unesco's World Natural Heritage List.

Stage 11: Ulan-Ude – Chita

Distance: 658km

Elevation: 623m

Athletes will continue their journey along P-258 'Baikal' federal route. A section of the route goes alongside a major river, Selenga, which makes its way to Lake Baikal through Russia and Mongolia. The elevation range on stage 11 is 623m, which should be a good warm-up for participants as they move on to the most demanding stage of the race, stage 12... 

Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme


Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

The race is three times longer than Tour de France and twice as long as the Race Across America. Pictures: Denis Klero, Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

Stage 12: Chita – Svobodny

Distance: 1,372km

Elevation: 936m

The hardest stage of the whole race sees athletes riding 1,372.61km over two days. Kicking off in Chita and finishing in Svobodny in the Amur region. This town has an extreme climate with monsoons, swinging temperatures and heavy rainfall in summer. On top of this the athletes will have to face a new hurdle: the largest elevation change in the whole race – up to 936m!

Stage 13: Svobodny – Khabarovsk

Distance: 754km

Elevation range: 377m

Having tackled most of the elevation in the previous stage, athletes will be pleased to know that their route has less climbing today. Cycling along the P-297 Federal Highway, the route will start in Svobodny and finish in Khabarovsk.

Stage 14: Khabarovsk – Vladivostok

Distance: 765km

Elevation: 313m

The finish of this stage, and the whole race, will take place on June 28 in Vladivostok. The city, which sits on a peninsula sticking out into a  gulf of the Sea of Japan, is the end of the line for the Trans-Siberian Railway and the final destination of Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme.

Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme


Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

The participants are going to cross five climate zones, seven timezones, the Ural mountains and four of the longest rivers in the world. Pictures: Denis Klero, Pavel Sukhorukov / Red Bull Content Pool

7 cool facts about Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

This Moscow-to-Vladivostok epic’s the longest bicycle stage race in the world, but what’s it about?

1. The stages are up to 1,400km long

The new route covers 14 stages varying from 300km to 1,400km each and goes through Nizhniy Novgorod, Kazan, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, Svobodny and Khabarovsk.

2. It ends at an opera house

The race finishes in Vladivostok by the Far Eastern Opera house on the shore of the Pacific Ocean.

3. It’s like the world’s toughest geography lesson

The participants are going to cross five climate zones, seven timezones, the Ural mountains and four of the longest rivers in the world. They'll pass Lake Baikal and ride along the borders of Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China, covering a total of 79,000m of ascent and spending more than three weeks on the road.

4. Only the toughest finish this race

Last year four solo cyclists from Austria, Belgium, UK and Russia, and three duo teams from Germany, Italy and Russia, completed the premiere of the longest ultra-stage race in the world. The race is three times longer than Tour de France and twice as long as the Race Across America.

2015 solo winner Kristof Allegaert from Belgium completed 15 stages in 318 hours and 57 minutes with an average speed of 28.6kph (17.7mph) and the Russian duo team, Olympic gold medallist Mikhail Ignatiev and scratch race world champion Ivan Kovalev, won the duo category in 282 hours and 16 minutes at an average speed of 32.6kph (20.2mph).

Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme

The hardest stage of the whole race sees athletes riding 1,372.61km over two days. Kicking off in Chita and finishing in Svobodny in the Amur region. Picture: Denis Klero / Red Bull Content Pool

Kristof Allegaert: 'It was an exciting and challenging contest. I’m sure there will be plenty of riders wanting to compete in the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme next year.'

5. The first bit’s easier

The first part of the 2016 route will be slightly easier, with three stages instead of two up to the Ural mountains, but the rest of the route will be much more testing. The bikers will be able to rest on Lake Baikal in Irkutsk for one day before the extreme second half starts, with long stages of a minimum of 700km and the Amur challenge, the longest stage, of more than 1,400 km!

6. Entrants are on an exclusive list

Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme has already drawn the attention of a large number of cyclists from all over the world. Anyone who feels they have what it takes to overcome almost 10,000km on a bike can apply to participate. 

7. The riders aren’t totally alone

An experienced support team providing medical, physio and mechanical services, as well as food, will make sure that bikers reach their ultimate results with professional and high-quality care.

Check the news on Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme-2016 web-site and on Facebook

Comments (5)

One things for sure when they reach Siberia; they'll be breathtakingly taken by the scenery. What a lucky bunch.
Jaker, Dundalk
25/07/2016 10:46
1
0
Andrés, I read that in the Tour of France 2005 average speed was 41 km/h...so 1.400 kms can be done in 34 hours....they would need three days for that stage.

Easier would be using a motorcycle as at an average of 120 km/h bikers could make the stage in 11 hours...
Enrique, Spain
17/07/2016 05:26
0
2
How it is sais "Tour" in Russian?
Enrique, Spain
08/07/2016 18:14
1
0
CONGRATULATION...Sport has many good directions. It is better than to drink too alcohool and to be obese. I think that medical control is necessary for this beautiful competition. Sport is also well to meet together ( like "tour de France" to celebrate the beginning of summer ) . But I think that sometime there is bad behaviour in sport; keep good balance is necessary
Sponsor is not bad because without money it is difficult to organize the event. But have good drinks with fruits and not too sugar is good .Sorry for my bad English...
Jocelyne, FRANCE
07/07/2016 18:34
6
0
1400 km in one stage? come on. Even if they make it, how many years they are decreasing their life expectancy just because the want to "prove" something. This kind of brands like "red bull" keep promoting unhealthy and unbalanced ways to do sport, don't help anyone but their soft-drugs business at the expense of the dumb's bodies.
Andres Suarez, Cancun, Mexico
07/07/2016 09:28
3
4
1

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