Germany’s Fiona Kolbinger has beaten more than 200 men to become the first woman to win the Transcontinental Race, cycling more than 2,485 miles across Europe in just over 10 days.
The cancer researcher, 24, endured thunderstorms, scorching heat and icy rain in the solo race, which took her from Burgas, Bulgaria to Brest in north west France via five other countries.
After finishing in a time of 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes, Kolbinger says she could have “gone harder”, adding: “I could have slept less.”
Britain’s Ben Davies took second place, reaching the finish more than 10 hours behind Kolbinger, in 10 days, 13 hours and 10 minutes.
“I am so, so, surprised to win,” said Kolbinger, who was one of 265 riders taking part, of which 40 were women. “When I was coming into the race I thought that maybe I could go for the women’s podium, but I never thought I could win the whole race.”