24 July, 2021

Sumit Patil

The 26-year-old, who's only the third Indian to qualify for the world's toughest cycling race, Race Across America, on his passion

Sumit Patil

Why is Race Across America (RAAM) tough?

For it's a non-stop transcontinental cyc­ling challenge; one has to cycle 4,800 km in 12 days.

How different is it from the Tour de France?

Unlike the Tour, there are no planned stops. In France, a rider covers 3,000 km in 19 stages over 21 days. A rider in RAAM has to stay on the bike for 22 hours a day, sleep hardly two hours, endure sub-zero to blistering 50C temperatures.

What was the qualifier like?

I qualified by completing UltraBOB, a RAAM qualifying event in Bangalore. I finished the 601-km Bangalore-Ooty-Bangalore via Kalahatti climb in 32 hr 30 min to qualify.

How did you get into cycling?

I was into endurance activities like marathon running and mountaineering, when I discovered ultra-cycling. These activities affect the psycho-spiritual plane of your mind; I just love it.

How rigorous is the training?

I manage six-seven hours of training daily and I do about 300-400 km...

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