It all started on Monday evening at 8 PM, when Dan Polman arrived in Vsetín. It happened exactly 99 hours and 50 minutes after the start of the race earlier in the week, which meant that Dan rode around the full-length Czech borderline in a less than 100 hours, making it 20 km per hour average speed including sleep time!!!
Those 100 hours were not a random number, though, as Dan did the math about 70 km before the finish and made a small goal for himself to finish under this time. As he said in the finish line, it took him a great deal of effort, because fast finishing hurts a lot after such a performance.
The Lower Square in Vsetín, mainly the space before the stage was filled with a few dozens of fans, greeting Dan with a loud applause. He was accompanied by Sváťa Božák, a cycle maniac like Dan, who lives in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm and this region is his homeland. We could see the very top of ultra cycling legends meeting on the stage, which was a very pleasant sight. What was even more pleasant to see was that Sváťa has considered taking on Dan’s offer for him to make the full race in the future, so Dan’s set time record might be soon under a threat…
Dan was in surprisingly good spirits and, apart from his sore wrists, he felt good so far. He then bandaged his wrists, waved to his fans and set off to the other half, which may seem shorter but even more treacherous. On the second day of the journey, he will be greeted by High Tatras, and those are not even bad, the Slovak northern parts have a lot more to offer…
After riding through the borders, he made it further by a couple of kilometres where his team set a camp near a grocery store at one of the many Slovak villages and they went to bed. His team took a longer break this time, nevertheless Dan slept his usual 2 hours and took off by 5 AM.
As expected, Slovakia made it clear from the beginning that he was not going to have it easy there. The weather was awful with rainy breaks and temperatures somewhere around 15 Celsius. Dan was simultaneously taking on and off layers of thermal and waterproof clothes. Anyways, he finished his fifth day at Štrbské lake, and he could read 342 km on his tachometer rode in the last 24 hours.
The story of Jirka Severa had a different turnover, though, as that day he made the decision to end the race before noon. The pain in his wrists and bottom was too much to cope with, and despite him hopping on the bike in the morning, he gave in after 12 km. In his own words, his only wish for the race was to enjoy himself, but this was way beyond his idea of enjoying. Just as he mentioned over the phone, quoted: “Dude, ultra cycling is not for me, in my opinion a man should sleep at night and stay in on rainy days, and this weather makes racing a struggle for me.”
With these words on his mind, Jirka rode another 91 km on his last day and would be adding no more. He made plans to meet Dan halfway (in a car) anyways, and we should see both of them in the finish line!
Jirka Severa rode 91 km and 1459 km total in 4 and a half days!!!
Dan Polman rode 342 km, 2212 km total