The first edition of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme ended: Paola Gianotti, the only woman attending, gained the third place along with her race partner Paolo Aste.
“I have always been focused on the final target: arriving in Vladivostok, proving one more time that if you have a dream you can make it true and that we women are able to achieve great goals.”
With these very words of great enthusiasm and satisfaction Paola Gianotti comments on her participation to the Trans-Siberian, considered as one of the most extreme challenge, along with her fellow traveler Paolo Aste, the ultracycler from Vicenza who helped her to never give up and to understand how much the strength of a team can be fundamental in order to reach goals which seems impossible.
Started on 15th July from Moscow, with a long route which travelled across Kostroma, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Barabinsk, Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tulun, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude, Chita, Svobodny, Obluchye, Khabarovsk, the Trans-Siberian came to an end on 6th August in Vladivostok.
Together with some of the strongest athletes from all over the world, the Italian team ran the 9.195 kilometres of the Red Bull Trans-Siberian Extreme in 286 hours, 6 minutes and 46 seconds, with an average of 32,1 kilometres per hour; There were a lot of stretch that were all ups and downs, with a total difference in altitude of 51.300 metres. And a lots more: 9 time zones, 2 continents crossed, with 7 different climatic zones, 240 bars eaten, 1.500 kilometres of steppe crossed, 1 bear sighted, 306 changes, 2 Vans being in our train, 670 kilometres of uneven road surface, 0 puncture (thanks to Michelin Pro4Endurance tyres, really performative), 3 stage wins, an intense temperature range, (zero degrees by night, 20 degrees by midday and 40 degrees in the afternoon). The stages made were 15, with distances from 350 to 1400 kilometres.
“The race has been very tough, mentally and physically. Athletes’ level was very high and in so far as the only woman attending they have frequently been trying to leave be behind, pedaling faster uphill. Soma nights, pedaling with an average of 35 kilometres per hour after 800 already done on very uneven road surfaces, it seemed nobody felt tiredness or the hardness of the pedaling; in those moments my body seemed to refuse those rhythms and just with my mind and thanks to my team I managed to go forward” Pala Gianotti stated.
The best moments were when I was pedaling and heard the toot of the train moving nearby. The legendary Trans-Siberian train. I imagined people from every ethnic group and nationality looking out of the window this huge country. And it crossed my mind that I was travelling again across a part of the world on my bike. Every time I looked at my little GPS dot moving on the map and crossing Kazakhstan, Mongolia, China, North Korea, it reminded me the World Tour. I looked at my male rivals and pushed on the pedals, thinking how much I was proud and pleased to be there too”.
“A special thank you to my sponsors, without whom all this would not be possible: IBL Bank, Elastic Interface, Cosmetico, Sport Plus Health, Michelin, Cinelli, Kratos, Effepi Manufacture, Incomedia, Seinox and Quality Training. The strength to reach great dreams, I found it even thanks to all those who are now part of the big family of KeepBrave. Finally, a hug to my fantastic team: the video maker Raffaella Rivarolo, the logistic manager Nicodemo Valerio, the mechanic and team leader Biagio Mitidieri”.
Image credit: photo by iRRegular by Raffaella Rivarolo follow at