Red Bull Timelaps returns for 2018
The 25-hour relay race is unlike any other event in cycling
by Toby Martin
The Red Bull Timelaps returns this October with what is arguably one of the hardest one day race in the cycling calendar.
On 27 October (the evening when daylight savings ends and the clocks go back), 200 four-man teams will battle it out during 25 hours of relay racing on a closed 6.6 km circuit to claim the overall victory. If the above video is anything to go by, the racing will be fierce from the gun all the way until the very end.
"Wellingborough Cycles won the inaugural event last year, clocking up a staggering 138 laps (or 910.8km – close to two thirds of the total distance between Lands End and John O'Groats)"
With only one rider allowed on course at any one time, teams will require both mental endurance and long-game tactics, as well as the obvious physical characteristics to meet a race with such demand. The Northamptonshire-based Wellingborough Cycles won the inaugural event last year, clocking up a staggering 138 laps (or 910.8km – close to two thirds of the total distance between Lands End and John O'Groats).
“We were ecstatic," said team leader Jack Patmore. "We ended up entering the 2017 race as a bit of fun at the end of our season, so it's really great that we ended up winning the whole event.
"We didn't really have a game plan apart from just letting one of the guys hit it really hard! We are looking forward to coming back this year to defend our title.”
As if the race wasn't hard enough already, between 2am and 3am a special 'power hour' features a shortened course and bonus laps for any willing to push it to the limits in the middle of the night. Each lap gained by any team during this period is doubled and added to their overall tally, encouraging teams to go for an all out offensive that helps reinvigorate the race in the darkest hours.
The racing will return to the quiet undulating course of Windsor Great Park, located just outside of London. Entries for Red Bull Timelaps will open at 10am 22 May, with team entries costing £250 and £200 for under 25s.
For more information head to Red Bull Timelaps.
Images from Red Bull Timelaps 2017