Ljubljana – Slovenian cyclist Stanko Verstovšek has set a new record in the 24-hour time trial by covering a total of 914.02 kilometres in that span on a route in the north-eastern region of Prekmurje. He has beaten the previous record-holder, Christoph Strasser of Austria, by more than 15 kilometres.
During the time trial on the triangle between Dobrovnik, Genterovci and Turnišče, the Slovenian also improved world records in 100, 200, 300 and 500 kilometres and miles to obtain nine records recognised by the World Ultra Cycling Association.
“I started flirting with the record last year,” Vertovšek has told the STA, noting that the idea had been born when he had won the European championship for ultra cyclists, where he had broken off from his competitors after 12 hours of cycling.
“The challenge was great, because Strasser was the first to break the records of the late Jure Robič,” the native of Zidani Most (E) said about the legendary Slovenian cyclists and his predecessor.
Verstovšek, who covered 902 kilometres in 24 hours the European championship, said that another factor was the coronavirus crisis sweeping out all major international competitions, which gave him time to concentrate on breaking the record.
He had cycled more than 22,000 kilometres in preparation for the feat, or 140 kilometres a day, with him working in Koper allowing him to cover great distances every day during the period when municipal borders were locked down.
The gruelling challenge on the route selected in consultation with another ultra cyclist Marko Baloh was far from easy. “After ten hours or so I had a serious crisis, but the interim data showed that I was close,” he said.