The first ever edition of VRAAM has drawn to a close with just nine people finishing the 3,250km virtual race. 

Japan’s Hirokazu Suzuki who took the honours, winning the race; he rode a total of 4542km in the allocated 12 days, riding 391km further than putters29 who came in second. India’s Bharat Pannu rounded out the podium in third. 

He said “The moment I crossed the finish line, I felt like all the work I had done on my long rides had paid off. All the hard work I had done so far had paid off.

VRAAM was a painful 12 day ride on an indoor trainer. I spent the first 10 days just looking at the FulGaz screen, not even listening to music, to help me focus. I was only pedaling. The last two days I was sleepy so I listened to loud music…

I often participate in a long-distance cycling event called the Burbe. I rarely race and consider myself a cyclist, not a racer. I love to pedal for days on end while taking in the beautiful scenery.

I’ve often organised indoor cycling events that mimic this style with 200-600km of riding, so that’s probably why I won this race.

I have an interest in ultra distance racing and participated in the 2018 RAAM but retired midway through the race due to a neck injury. I had already given up participating in the next RAAM due to the cost. When I heard about VRAAM this time, I thought, “I can participate in this. I just have to hang in here!” I was excited.”

FulGaz app CEO Mike Clucas was impressed with the level of dedication and drive of the riders “It’s fantastic to see so many great stories coming in from all over the world. We’re really excited to be working in the events space. Congratulations again to all of the competitors across all categories and distances.”

Results 

  1. Hirokazu Suzuki (Japan)
  2. Putters29 (United Kingdom)
  3. Bharat Pannu (India)

*Mr Suzuki’s quote was translated using a third party app. 

About the Virtual Race Across America

Drawing it’s length, name and legacy from the cancelled Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world, RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community.

The length, duration of the ride and the time spent on the bike closely mimics the conditions riders would face on the road in real life. This race acts as a qualifying race for the 2021 edition of RAAM. 

The race was originally meant to be 4500km, however event organisers shortened the finishing distance to 3225km due to athlete well being concerns.