Srinivas Gokulnath finishing the 2018 edition of Race Around Austria (RAA) in the solo category (This photo was downloaded from the Facebook page of RAA and is being used here for representation purpose only. No copyright infringement intended)

Earlier this month, Srinivas Gokulnath finished Race Around Austria (RAA) successfully in the solo category. RAA is among Europe’s premiere endurance races in cycling.

Srinivas Gokulnath has completed the 2200 kilometer-long Race Around Austria (RAA).

Participating in the solo category (officially called: extreme race around Austria), he finished it in five days, 10 hours and nine minutes.

The 2018 edition of the race was held over August 13 to 18.

As per tweets by the race organizers, the winner in the solo category for men (extreme RAA) was Patric Gruner of Austria (three days, 16 hours, 24 minutes) followed by Germany’s Markus Hager (three days, 19 hours, 30 minutes) and Michael Kochendorfer (four days, three hours, 24 minutes). Among women, the winner was Anna Bachmann of Austria (four days, 13 hours, 31 minutes). Switzerland’s Isabelle Pulver (four days, 14 hours, 17 minutes) placed second.

Last year Srinivas had become the first Indian to complete Race Across America (RAAM) in the solo category.

RAA is not new to Indian cyclists.

In 2017, Bharat Pannu and Darshan Dubey had completed RAA in the two person team-category.  They rode the distance in 99 hours, 53 minutes.

Srinivas’s is the first solo finish at RAA by an Indian cyclist. According to a report in the Pune Mirror, the successful completion was despite an accident he had while training just days before the race, resulting in injuries to cyclist and damage to the bicycle he was using. Srinivas’s technical team had to assemble a new bicycle for the race using a new frame.

As its name suggests, the race route at RAA roughly tracks the outline of Austria on the map. It is a single stage race with some time cut-offs in between. “ In terms of length, RAA is shorter than RAAM. But it is a challenging race because there are steep gradients involved,’’ Bharat Pannu said when contacted. Austria is a largely mountainous country. According to Wikipedia, of Austria’s total area, only about a quarter can be deemed low lying and only 32 per cent of the country is below 500 meters in elevation.

For more on Srinivas Gokulnath please click on this link:

(The author, Shyam G Menon, is a freelance journalist based in Mumbai.)  

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