What a race, hey?
As the winner of last year's race, we named him as a favourite for this year, but with Sofiane Sehili also on the startlist we weren't sure how it'd play out.
Throughout his 3D 17H 16M trial of the Swiss Alps, Jochen stopped for 9H 29M. Sofiane's stopped time was 3H 21M and Markus' was 5H 40M. It's therefore safe to say that Jochen can afford to stop more frequently because he has the upper hand on fitness over his competitors. This enables him to be better rested, perhaps better refuelled and an overall more efficient rider.
It wasn't all plain sailing for him though. Tragedy struck when his bike frame snapped after a car collided with him with just 130km to go. Lucky for him, a kind stranger on a balcony leant him her bicycle and her (too small) shoes for him to continue.
I'm pretty certain I've read of others completing bike races on borrowed/rented bikes, though I can't recall exactly which race. I can't see Jochen being DQ'd for this incident though: he didn't know the lady personally i.e. he couldn't have arranged the borrowed bike in advance, and the bike is unlikely to have given him an advantage beyond the ability to finish.
From the official rules:
Swapping bikes along the route is only allowed in exceptional circumstances and with prior consent from the organisers.
What do you think?
Markus' detour near Saanen is likely to hurt his final time and we suspect a time penalty is in order, though to what magnitude we'll have to wait and see. It's unlikely to affect his ranking as the fourth placed rider, Christian Beyer, finished about 7H after him and I'm not sure his error warrants a 7H+ penalty based on other races' systems.
Adrien Liechti (9th) has uploaded his Hope 1000 activity in one go for you to look at. I wonder if he forgot to start his GPS again at that long flat bit! Anyway it's great to see the other stats on Strava: 44,000 calories, an average temperature of 14ºC and and average speed of 13.6kph. Looks like the riders will be feeding that calorie deficit for some time 🍰
Fellow finisher Lukas Franciszkiewicz commented on Adrien's shake-down ride yesterday to congratulate him 😂
The women's race
Only three women completed the Hope 1000 course this year and Lael's record from 2018 still stands. Emma Pooley withdrew herself from the racing aspect of the race due to picking up a bike from a nearby friend after hers broke. She went on to complete the course in a little over 6 days and has posted about her joy of bikepacking across Switzerland.
Lisbeth Hofstetter has the crown for first woman in a repeat of last year's event, though we can't actually determine what her final time was. Trackleaders hasn't updated her location for over a day, but we're certain she's finished now.
We would've loved to have covered the women's field in much more depth, however we couldn't find Lisbeth on social media and Anne de Smet didn't update her Instagram profile throughout the race.
Amadeus Wild decided to run the Hope 1000 course but scratched after 400km. That's still a huge effort and I for one would not like to run that for that long on that terrain! Perhaps he'll try it on a bike next time...
Until next time
We're anticipating commentating the Italy Divide at the end of July followed by GBDURO at the start of August so please join us for those.
It's been an absolute pleasure to bring you live coverage from the Hope 1000 race over the last week. We hope you've enjoyed it too. Thanks again to David who kickstarted the coverage over the race's first weekend.
If you have any feedback or want to get involved in the future, do get in touch.