Extreme cyclist Martin Neitzke: 24 hours around the Henninger tower

Who drives so late through night and wind? It is the Martin Neitzke with his bike. On May 1, the wheels are stationary due to coronabedingt, Eschborn-Frankfurt,

Extreme cyclist Martin Neitzke: 24 hours around the Henninger tower

Who drives so late through night and wind? It is the Martin Neitzke with his bike. On May 1, the wheels are stationary due to coronabedingt, Eschborn-Frankfurt, the former Henninger race, has been postponed to September 19. The tradition, which has existed since 1962, that thousands of cyclists compete with each other on the day of work, from the professional to the junior, in the cycling classic, is once again suspended. But Neitzke drives. He has long been so far in his sport that he rides solo against himself and the imposed enormous distances. The Darmstädter does not roll in any peloton, because there are hardly any races in his collar width. "Ultracycling" is the name of the circle of those who do not regard cycling as a matter for a few hours, but as an extreme challenge over days or even weeks at a time. < / p>

He has already completely crossed Africa and South America in (stage)races. The 4455 kilometres of the "Transcontinental" from Flanders to Istanbul, where each participant has their luggage with them and takes care of their own sleeping arrangements, were completed in under 16 days. He finished second in the" Race across Germany", which runs non-stop from Flensburg to Garmisch. And yet he has long had only one goal in mind, probably the ultimate: the "Race Across America" (Raam). The ride from the American West to the East coast, "the mother of all ultra cycling races", as Neitzke says. For soloists pure madness, one looks at the pure distance (5000 kilometers), the altitude meters to be mastered (over 52000) and the climatic changes between desert and high mountains. Neitzke wants to be part of the 2021 edition of this strain in June. And so his personal dance into May is a tighter training session on two pedals for the big goal. And for a good cause. < / p>

The 40-year-old will swing this Friday at 16 o'clock in the south Hessian Einhausen on the saddle and wants to descend again 24 hours later. "four&twenty" is also the name of the project supported by the organizer of Eschborn-Frankfurt. On 1 May at 4 pm, when thousands of spectators are expected to finish the professional race on normal May holidays in front of the Frankfurt Alte Oper, Neitzke wants to have completed at least 60 laps of the eleven-kilometre circuit, i.e. 660 kilometres in his legs. 60 Laps, because this May 1 was supposed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Frankfurt cycling classic. < / p>

With his ride, Neitzke not only wants to put a strain on his Raam preparation, but also to collect donations "to help those who have more serious problems than a postponed bike race," he says. It is collected for a project in Africa of the children's Fund Plan International. The course in Einhausen is familiar to racers from the region from various events held there. In 2019, the German championships of the elite took place there. Neitzke will move in normal traffic – a traffic light is not on the route, only three times it is necessary to observe right before left in a residential area. At the Einhausener Sportplatz the camper is parked, from which his two-headed crew supplies him with food and drink. < / p> The classic 1st of May cycling race Eschborn-Frankfurt will be postponed this year. : Image: dpa

Only now the coronabedingte curfew got in the way of the project. On Friday evening, Neitzke is expected to turn off the circuit in the direction of Darmstadt (and spend the night on the bike trainer at home) in order to return to Einhausen at dawn. From the South Hessian 24 hours on the bike Neitzke expects further insights for the Raam. "We want to further optimize the process. For example, the food, the change of clothes and also the weighing,“ says Neitzke. < / p>

Weight control will become important when crossing the United States. The problem then is not a large weight loss, but rather the increase. Because this would indicate water retention in the body with such an extreme load. During the Raam, Neitzke plans with 500 kilometers per day, which would bring him to his destination in just under ten days. In order to determine what performance will be required to stay within the time limit of the event: minus the short breaks for sleep and care, Neitzke must travel at an average speed of 25 kilometers day and night. Around it you need an enormous logistics. Nine people and two vehicles will be his crew – if Corona does not destroy the project.

Updated Date: 01 May 2021, 05:20

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