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  1. ITV Report

Cyclist Fiona Kolbinger beats more than 200 men to win 2,485 mile Transcontinental Race

German cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger is the first female winner of the Transcontinental Race. Credit: Photography by Angus Sung © (https://www.angussung.co.uk/) for The Transcontinental Race

Germany's Fiona Kolbinger has beaten more than 200 men and 40 women to win a gruelling bike race from one end of Europe to the other.

When the cancer researcher crossed the finish line, the male cyclist in second place was 124 miles (200km) behind her in the 2,485mile (4,000km) race.

Starting the race in Burgas, Bulgaria and finishing in Brest, Brittany, it took Ms Kolbinger 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes to complete the Transcontinental Race.

The 24-year-old is the first woman to win the race.

The epic journey saw competitors cycle through scorching heat, thunderstorms and freezing rain, all whilst enduring high altitude climbs and gravel tracks.

Fiona Kolbinger cycled through scorching heat, thunderstorms and freezing rain. Credit: Photography by Angus Sung © (https://www.angussung.co.uk/) for The Transcontinental Race

Despite beating the next person by 124 miles, Ms Kolbinger still believed she could have done better.

“I am so, so, surprised to win. Even now.

"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,” Ms Kolbinger said.

“I think I could have gone harder. I could have slept less.”

265 riders competed in this year’s Transcontinental Race – 40 of whom were women. Credit: JamesRobertsonPhotography (https://www.facebook.com/jamesrobertsonphotography) / @transconrace https://www.facebook.com/transconrace/

Some 265 riders competed in this year’s Transcontinental Race – 40 of who were women.

Riders must pass through four checkpoints on their way,including the Alpe d’Huez – one of the most challenging climbs on the Tour de France, but other than this, they are free to plan their own routes.

Depending on their route, racers could pass through seven or more countries including Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, France, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland.

Competitors were unable to receive any technical help and had to organise their own food and accommodation.