If you’ve not been watching the dots travel across Australia, you’ll have missed out on the fact that it’s been an exciting race down under at the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. Third placed Sarah Hammond has been showing what she’s made of and keeping the pressure on second placed Mike Hall. It barely seems relevant that she’s first female in the race – having already won Race To The Rock we know she can outshine and outlast most men. One in the eye for the all the ‘women simply can’t physically race as far/fast/hard’ dinosaurs out there.
In second place – at time of writing anyway – is Britain’s Mike Hall, record-breaking winner of last year’s Tour Divide. Having spotted Kristoff Allegaert’s bike by the side of the road, Mike had pressed on and taken the lead. However, while us in the UK were sleeping, Mike seems to have stopped for 5 hours or so – hopefully for a nice refreshing nap – and Kristoff has recaptured the lead.
Mike and Kristoff have won all the big ultra races between them, but this is the first time we’ve seen them go head to head in the same race. Kristoff hasn’t had much sleep over the last couple of days, so with around 1000km to go we wonder whether he can hold that lead, or whether Mike will be refreshed after his 5 hour stop (which could amount to a fairly long sleep by ultra-race standards) and will power past Kristoff in the final kilometres? We’ll confess that here in the office we’re rooting for Yorkshireman Mike, but he’s been having problems with his sight in the dark. We rather like Mike, he’s a nice guy, so we’d like him home safely please – with reports of close passes and aggressive drivers, it sounds like being able to see properly is pretty important!
If you want to catch up on all the action, check out some of the videos from the race:
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