Austrian cyclist starts 'coast-to-coast' one-man race in Russia

Vladivostok (Russia), July 23 (IANS) Austrian extreme cyclist Wolfgang Fasching started one-man race Wednesday from Vladivostok via Moscow to St. Petersburg in an attempt to cover 10,000 kilometres in 24 days.

The cyclist has a support team that will follow him all the way to St. Petersburg. A team of fifteen, including medics, technicians, media-group, and a cook in five vehicles will escort him along the route, reports Xinhua.

Fasching is planning to cover 400 to 500 kilometres a day with three to four hours of sleep.

"For the first time before the race I had a good rest, and I feel good. I am ready for this run. I am trying to concentrate on a good start so it will go smoothly," Fasching said before his journey, adding that he liked the Vladivostok's scenery but the humid climate of the city was unusual for him.

As a symbol of reaching the project's goal, Fasching filled a special bottle with water from the Japanese Sea (East Sea) to put it back in the Baltic Sea in St. Petersburg after the finish.

A group of local cyclists gathered at the start of the "Russia C2C" Race. They accompanied Fasching for almost 100 kilometres until they reached the city of Ussuriysk together.

The finish of the race is set Aug 15. The 46-year-old extreme biker's goal is to meet the race deadline. Fasching has three bikes he will use in different conditions.

The Austrian is the three-time winner of the Race Across America (RAAM) in 1997, 2000, 2002 and the winner of XX ALPS, a race over the 44 Alps mountain passes.

He holds the world records in a 12-hour race with 462 kilometres on the road in 1995, in a 24-hour race with 856 kilometres on the road in 2002.