Strasser and Roch pulverize own records at their third win
May 29, 2022
Christoph Strasser and Elena Roch won today the 4th edition of the Race Around Niederösterreich for the third time in a row. Both pulverized their course records from last year. The Austrian championship title in the 2-person team secured on the 600km long route with 6,000hm around Austria’s largest province Amadeus Cosimo Lobe and Thomas Mayr from Team CLR Sauwald Cobain 699 Team 1. In all eight categories the records fell.
At 4 p.m. sharp, the top-class 4th edition of the Race Around Lower Austria started from Weitra on Friday. After two covid-conditioned events without spectators, the nearly 200 Starter:innen were sent in two-minute intervals with thunderous applause on the route around Lower Austria and received frenetically on Saturday at the medieval main square of the city of Weitra in the center of the Xundheitswelt. The measure of all things were after 2020 and 2021 but again the 6-time Race Across America winner Christoph Strasser in the men and Elena Roch in the women.
Strasser faster by just under 20 minutes – Roch by over an hour
“I would never have dreamed that after last year it could really go even faster,” was the first reaction of Styrian Christoph Strasser, who celebrates the triple at this race with this victory. After breaking the 17-hour barrier last year (16h 55min), this year he was able to improve on last year’s record by almost 20 minutes to 16h 36min. Especially from the Weinviertel, the 6-time Race Across America winner was able to show his qualities again and left the competition no chance. Second place went to Sebastian Michetschläger (17h 45min) from Upper Austria and third place went to Robert Müller (GER) for the third time.
In the women’s race, Elena Roch, a native of Lower Austria, was once again in a league of her own. Compared to last year, she was able to improve her record by over an hour, from 22h 18min to 21h 15min. After the medical “go” after her cruciate ligament rupture in January, Roch decided to tackle the adventure “Race Around Lower Austria” for the third time. “The knee held and that was the most important thing. Everything worked out great,” could not be more pleased with the 29-year-old.
Close decision for ÖM title in 2-person team
In the decision for the Austrian championship title Ultra of the 2-person teams, which were awarded by the ÖRV to the RAN, it came to a duel between the Upper Austrian team “CLR Sauwald Cobain 699 Team 1” and the Styrian team “SPORT 2000 Mandl Gröbming”. In the end, only 7 minutes decided after 600 kilometers and so last year’s winners in this category, Amadeus Cosimo Lobe, with new partner, Thomas Mayr, were able to take ÖM gold. They pushed last year’s best time of 17h 05min to 16h 13min. Pleasing for the Upper Austrians that also the team 2 behind the Gröbmingern could take third place in the ÖM ranking.
In the male 3-person team, RC Friedberg-Pinggau won ahead of Team OÖ Kinderkrebshilfe and Athletes for Ukraine with, among others, 3-time Olympic luge champion Felix Loch (GER), who traded his luge for a racing bike for a good cause. It was also very pleasing that for the first time three ladies cycled around Lower Austria in one team during the race.
But not only these three records were broken at the 4th edition of the race. New bests were achieved in all eight categories. “Cycling is booming in the last years and the participants:inside prepare themselves better and better and know each other better. The sometimes quite strong (back) wind also played a role this year,” said race director Georg Franschitz. “A record number of participants, eight course records, a worldwide livestream, spectators in Weitra and along the course and a brilliant team – we couldn’t have imagined the fourth edition any better,” says co-organizer Christian Troll in an extremely positive summary.
The fifth circumnavigation of Austria’s largest province will take place from May 19-20, 2023.