How a dating service gets you through a 1000km race – Tortour in Switzerland

Three weeks before the race

I got a strange email question from a still unknown person : Would I want to join a four person team for the Tortour? Ahemmm YES!.

I knew about the Tortour too well. It`s a 1000km race around Switzerland with 14,500m elevation gain that not only requires some serious physical fitness but, if not more importantly, a well organized support team, a similar format as the Race Across America.

So from one day to the next I was on the team to join them only three weeks later.

I would learn soon I had the fortune to be on a fantastic team that not only was organizational top notch but funny that would even make the most serious German smile.

And here goes the story in pictures and videos:

Thursday, 14 August: Morning

Everyone was excited on the way to the race (f.l.: me, Stefan (racer), Isa (racer), Ariella (support))

 

 

A lot of gear is required with the hope you can find it when you need it.

 

Every racer got a box which should minimize chaos. I successfully created chaos anyway.

Thursday 12pm 

At the race briefing. Being surrounded by 500+ other excited racers and supporters made for an incredible atmosphere. If you werent excited before this briefing, you are definitely now! The anticipation was rising!

Thursday 15:30

Then, the prolog in the afternoon. Merely a kilometer or so of high intensity to place the teams into an order for the next day.

We won the prolog in our category. That meant we start first at 2:33AM, a minute ahead of the second placed team.

Friday 2:30AM Start

The starting formation. The team to the right and the follow vehicle behind.

 

Just imagine about 130 vehicles with `Caution Bicycle ahead` driving around in Switzerland….Bikes rule the next 48 hours
No idea why we were waving to the follow vehicle. I (pink arm warmers in the front) was occupied with other things apparently.
And then the countdown. 1000km ahead

 

 

Ariella and Mirco…let the fun get started

Friday 10:30AM: 8 Hours – 233km

There were three team stages (first, middle and last). The other ~850km were split between the four racers.

We had highly concentrated drivers. Not only the cyclist had to ride 1000km, our support crew had to drive those too!
I wasnt aware that we had a mountain goat on the team. This woman can climb!

 

The views were breathtaking….in two ways.

Friday 14:30 PM 12 hours – 340km
As hard as we were working, we had at least the same amount of fun (here on the way up the 14km climb, Flüela pass.)

Friday 18:30 – 16 hours – 480km

Not a lot of rest time between the individual stages: Transfer to next check point, eating and getting clothes ready for next stage do not give a lot of time to relax
The weather couldnt decide. It was sunny. 10 minutes late it poured down.

 

Saturday 4:00 AM – 26 hours – 770km
After some 30 hours of having fun and riding, the energy was slowly draining and I got tired. My last shift (before the team stage) was about to start. It was 4am. 26 hours on the road. 50km to ride to the next check point.

It was dark. It was wet. I was tired.

10km into my stage, I was falling asleep on the bike and swerving around the lane.I needed some entertainment. I asked our support team to tell me a story.
Of all the stories Barbara could tell me she chose to give me the pros and cons to date her two brothers. After a 30 minutes very entertaining monologue she decided herself, it might not be a good idea to date either of them.

And all of a sudden I was at the checkpoint.

Saturday 13:29 34 hours: 1000km

After the last team stage and 34 hours of being on the road we crossed the finish line.

 

We made it! From left: Max, me, Isa, Stefan

Then, the entry into the arena onto the stage with our song. No matter how often I watch this video I am still getting wet eyes. It brought all the fantastic memories into one moment.

 

The moderator asked me three questions back-to-back. Sleep deprived, I forgot all of them and answered my own.

Thanks to a fantastic team: Stefan, Max, Isa, Ariella, Barbara, Betty and Mirco!

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