Veris Racing cyclist, Sabine Bird to race across America, tackling 4,800 km in 12 days
Commencing on the 11 June, Sabine Bird a long standing member of the Veris Racing Team is set to participate in the 2019 Race Across America (RAAM). The ultra-endurance race will see cyclists ride across the continent, from California to Maryland, an event that is seen as the pinnacle in ultra-endurance racing.
The RAAM started in 1982 and over its 35-year history there have been racers from over 35 countries compete. Competitors must cross the continent in 12 days, which means riding more than 400km a day. The race features four categories – solo, 2-person, 4-person and 8-person relay teams and is often used by riders as a platform to raise in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes.
Racing in the Women’s solo category - under 50, Sabine is the only Australian solo female rider to compete in the prestigious race this year and is the first Australian woman in nearly two decades to qualify to compete, after Cassie Lowe who completed the race in 2000 and 2001.
The qualifying criteria is suitably challenging. Sabine qualified for the race last year, by participating in the Revolve24, held in South Australia, covering more than 600km in 24 hours, through gale force winds.
Starting at Oceanside California, the RAAM will take Sabine through 12 States, travelling west to east, covering three major mountain ranges including Sierra, the Rockies and Appalachian Mountains, as well as crossing four of America’s longest rivers – the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio. The route spans 4,800kms climbing a total of over 170,000 feet and Sabine has set herself a personal ambition to cover 500km or ride for 21 hours each day, in doing so burning up to 15,000 calories every day.
Sabine discovered her passion for ultra-endurance cycling in 2014, when she completed her first solo 24-hour Delirium race in Busselton. In 2017 she competed in the Delirium race again and won the ‘24 hour Road Race World Champion’ title, breaking the women’s record by 26km.
While Sabine is definitely a champion, The Race Across America will be her greatest challenge yet, combing distance, varying terrain and changeable weather, all of which are sure to test the racers’ spirit and endurance.
We wish Sabine all the very best in this challenge of grit, strength and endurance.