“During the night, you’re asking yourself ‘why did I come here?’ because it’s so hard.”
Those are the words of Team Ineos rider Pavel Sivokov after finishing his effort in the marathon 25-hour endurance event, Red Bull Timelaps.
He added: "However on Sunday morning when the sun is shining you’re just happy and satisfied that you’ve completed such a hard challenge.”
Sivakov, the winner of multiple stage races this year, was one of the 1,000 riders who descended on Windsor Great Park to race through the night on Saturday and Sunday (October 26 and 27).
Timelaps, now in it’s third year, sees teams of four compete in a relay over 25 hours as the clocks go back in the last weekend of October, with the winners being the team that completes the most laps of the 6.7km circuit.
“It’s different, but it’s definitely tough,” Sivakov told Cycling Weekly. “You have to really challenge yourself.”
The 22-year-old completed 257km over the 25 hours, helping his team of Ineos employees to sixth place out of the 224 competing.
Despite the enormous performance for the WorldTour pro his team weren’t able to compete for the win, as the top step went to Vitus Pro Cycling P/B Brother UK, made up of Chris Mcglinchey, Frederik Scheske, Mikey Mottram and Timothy Torrie.
The Vitus squad completed 148 laps of the course to take the overall victory, finishing nine laps ahead of Paria RT.
Bianchi-Dama emerged victorious in the women’s team category, as Georgina Panchaud, Emma Cockroft, Natasha Lydia Reddy and Sarah Louise King ticked off 126 laps.
In the mixed category, victory went to the Clapham Chasers, made up of Henry Stewart, Charlavoy Fisher, Micha Gamper and Nic Warburton, who powered their way through 134 laps.
Cycling Weekly was also represented in the challenging event, with Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, Alex Ballinger, James Bracey and Will Thompson digging in and finishing 14th in the mixed category.
For the first time this year, a solo option was available for the toughest riders wanting to challenge themselves by riding for a full day, alone.
Victory among the 12 solo riders went to George Kirkpatrick, who finished 101 laps, while Tamala Mcgee won the women’s solo contest with 79 laps.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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