Toby Read from the UK and Fabrice Linon from France aced the 24 hour fifth edition of epic endurance cycling race Race the Pearl, riding 600 kilometers from Point Pedro the northernmost point of Sri Lanka to Dondra Head, the southernmost tip. UK’s Pippa Langan clocked in at 24 hours 8 minutes, missing the Pearl Jersey by 8 minutes but setting a course record for female riders. The two winners however, proudly donned the coveted Pearl Jersey as Read cycled to the finish flag in 23 hours and 6 minutes and Linon in 23 hours and 46 minutes
Among the Sri Lankan riders was Gopi Thuraisingam who clocked in at 24hrs and 22 mins. In the relays which comprised five member teams, Kelani Cycling clocked in at 18 hours 10 minutes, Riders Hub at 19 hours and 48 minutes and Road Warriors in third place with 21 hours and 23 minutes. Well worthy of mention was 61 year old Thiripathi Ananda who received a special award for his tenacity, finishing with a timing of 29 hours and 6 minutes.
Race The Pearl is a qualifier for the upcoming RAAM (Race Across America), a globally renowned ultra-distance road cycling race that covers over 4,800 kilometers of the USA from west coach to east coast. Read and Fabrice now qualify for RAAM.
The Race The Pearl is an initiative supporting the #VisitSriLanka campaign which aims to promote Cycling Tourism and Race Vacations in the island. The course lends itself to ultra-endurance cycling given the headwinds, elevations, diverse weather patterns and elephant corridors which dot the course, living upto its promise of being the most Epic, Exotic & Exhilarating Bicycle Race in the Indian Ocean.
Organised by Spinner Cycling, the organising and mechanical partner of Ironman 70.3 Colombo and Around The Pearl, Race The Pearl is endorsed by the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau, strengthened by hospitality partner Antiquity and collaborates with MAS Kreeda Samahan Swastha Amurthaya, Sidddalepa, Is there a lion in you?, Genie, DIMO, Pulse & YesFM.