Fiona Kolbinger wins TCR - another woman slaying men in ultra races

Massively shocking, especially considering this was her first ever race and the extreme nature of it. We’re seeing more of this sort of thing. Amanda Coker of course setting the WR, but in a mixed field ultra event we had Jasmin Paris who shelled everyone at the Montane Spine Race:

If fields were 50/50 of equally trained participants, would we see more women winning ultras I wonder. There is some evidence to support the idea that women are harder than men when it comes to enduring pain. For them to make time train to train as long weekly as men is probably the hardest part I’d imagine due to childcare and well actually carrying a baby inside them while we’re out playing with bicycles :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Yes. It’s not just pain tolerance. Women’s bodies (generally) have more fat stores than men’s and hormones that make them easier to access, which means more, faster fuel for endurance work.

I mean we don’t all have kids, but there are mothers in the pro tour who have returned to competition after a pregnancy. (Lizzie Deignan is the most recent, I think? She won the general and points classification in the Women’s Tour this year. And a stage.)

Having a baby (assuming no complications) doesn’t prevent you from training long-term; needing to spend the majority of your free time on childcare and household logistics does. If you’ve got a partner that works with you or a lot of money (or whynotboth.gif, amirite), you’re golden.


Was curious how it played out. How competitive was it etc, so went back through the race reports.

Seems that she took the lead after a brilliant attack during the night, maybe around day three. By around day five, 2nd place rider Ben Davies (who was going really light - very little luggage and a lightweight Cervelo road bike ) was on her heels. As they went into the third control point 3000m mountain course, Fiona only a 2 hour lead and you’d have thought Ben would have made time up here.

Instead she put more time into him, an extra 2 hours on this section alone. It seems another rider Bjorn (who was leading the race at one point) knows Fiona and said said she’s an excellent climber.

Pretty much the most of the race she knew she was being chased but just kept powering through. A lot of the chatter is about her good cheer at every control point whereas other riders were getting visibly into a bit of a state.

1 Like

This is amazing. I would not be in “good cheer” after a week and a half of spending 19 hours a day riding.

1 Like

She was remarkably consistent. 19 hours riding, 5 hours stopped, every day. To a certain extent, this sort of race is a contest in not getting injured/ill - a lot of the leading riders scratched with injuries. I wonder if Fiona’s relative youth (she’s 24) helped with that.
The most incredible thing was when she got to CP3 (in the lead), and stopped to play the piano! :sunglasses:
It says that it was her first ever race, but I belive that she has a history of long distance audax (she completed London Edinburgh London in 2017), so she’s better prepared for the TCR than someone who has done hundreds of short races.

Massive massive kudos to her. :clap: :muscle:

Fiona was inspirational… a consistently impressive performance, with good humour throughout. Basically, she rocked

I may be wrong but I believe she didn’t use a PM either and worked of RPE?

Phenomenal performance by Fiona. It was a tough route this year with lots of hard climbs, big storms in the alps and strong headwinds through Serbia and France.

1 Like

Surprised there isn’t a thread for this year’s TCR, unless I’ve missed it? It’s a cracker, with Christoph Strasser out front, and Fiona Kolbinger going strongly in around 8th (having been robbed of her wallet and tracker earlier in the race)

I started a post a week ago but it didn’t really get any responses. Oh well.

Ulrich Barthelmoes had a total shocker. I was checking the dots last night when the drama at the ferry played out. He seemed totally broken by it.

Amrei Kühn is also doing an incredible job. She’s quite new to it all and seems to just be pushing along with no drama.

1 Like

Kolbinger did her last 600 km on fixed gears in 50/15!