Team Vorarlberg Santic Wins Race Around Austria 2021
The Race Around Austria is an ultra cycling race where the outer border of Austria is to be completed as fast as possible in non-stop mode during day and night. As simple as the description is, as hard it the challenge. With a distance over 2,200 kilometers and 30,000 meters of altitude the race is considered the toughest race in Europe!
Team Vorarlberg faces the challenge in the team of 4 category with the riders Daniel Ganahl, Nikolas Riegler, Maximilian Kuen and Peter Inauen from Switzerland as guest rider for the team. Starting in St. Georgen im Attergau, the route runs clockwise through Ober- and Niederösterreich, Burgenland, Steiermark, Kärnten, passing the Großglockner, through Tirol and the team's home base Vorarlberg back to the start and finish line. The team's stated goal was to beat the record of 2 days, 13 hours and 37 minutes.
"With Daniel Ganahl we have a passionate mountain rider at the start. Maximilian Kuen will complement perfectly as a rolluer and Nikolas Riegler is an important all-rounder. The Swiss elite rider Peter Inauen makes the team of 4 perfect with his experience from the participation in the Tortour Ultracycling event. We are ready and are looking forward to the Race Around Austria!" explains team manager Thomas Kofler before the start.
The challenge ahead
Not only the riders but also the support team is looking forward to an extraordinary adventure. The constant driver changes, navigating, repairing in case of defects during the race - and the fact of the great uncertainty are extremely challenging for everyone.
Both, Peter Inauen and Daniel Ganahl see the nights, changing weather conditions and staying focused on the bike during the whole time while facing sleep deprivation as the biggest challenges during their ride along the Austrian border. Still, guest rider Peter Inauen is super motivated: "I'm always up for a good time, even when things aren't going so smoothly."
Maximilian Kuen says he has no clue what really awaits him but at the end, he wants to achieve a top result together with his teammates.
Uncertain but highly motivated at the same time the four riders start into the Race Around Austria at 8pm in the evening.
A special victory for everyone
The four riders of Team Vorarlberg mastered the route including the difficult section on Großglockner, Kühtai, Bielerhöhe, Faschina and Hochtannberg excellently. Their efforts payed off in a new course record. With a time of 2 days 12 hours and 20 minutes the Team Vorarlberg broke the previous record by 1 hour and 17 minutes.
Niko Rieger enjoyed the race with his energetic team mates and reviews how they sticked to the planned rider changes and quickly got into a good rhythm. Maximilian Kuen adds that the conditions were ideal and the preparations made by the team in the background were perfect.
"Only because of that this course record become possible at all."
Team leader Jürgen Schatzmann summarizes: "It was a very special challenge for everyone. Especially the logistics of such a race are enormous. It requires a meticulous organization in advance as well as a perfectly organized team of navigators, mechanics, physiotherapists and other helpers during the race. Without them, such a race would not be possible. It was a brilliant experience with many challenges that we overcame together. That's why this course record is a special victory for everyone!"