Chris ‘Hoppo’ Hopkinson is a talented, ultra endurance cyclists with some incredible results to his name in the ultra cycling discipline. 2013 is the first year that Chris has been TORQ fuelled and has been a busy season, taking on a number of ultra endurance cycling races around the world, including the superhuman “Race Across America”.
Chris’s seasons started in February, taking the win at the Sebring 24 hour. This covered a staggering 432.6 miles in 24 hours and the race was used as preparation for the Race Across America, which followed shortly in June. Chris completed the RAAM in 2005 and was the first ever British rider to finish the event solo; covering 3052 miles in 11 days 23 hours and 5 minutes! 2013 was his second attempt at the race, with his aim to retake the British solo record.
The RAAM is a truly incredible feat of human endurance and is labelled as one of the toughest races in the world. It takes in 3000 miles in 12 days, nonstop, which is nearly 30% more in total distance than the Tour De France in one go, with over 17,000 feet of climbing! The challenge not only lies in covering the distance which, to finish in under 10 days (Chris’s goal for the event), involves consistently covering 400 miles a day, but also in the extremes of weather (including tornadoes) with temperatures ranging from 0oc – 45oc! Chris finished the event in an impressive 11 days and 21 hours, not the time he was looking for due to a number of minor setbacks, which accumulated to a considerable loss of time, but a finishing time within the cut off, non the less. Check out the time-lapse filmed by one of his pit crew from the full 12 days below.
Just a month after the RAAM, Chris then went on to finish 9th in the National 24 hour TT, completing a staggering 470.58 miles. At the end of the season, with his accumulation of top results, Chris took the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association 24 hour World Championship title as well as placing 2nd in the overall world cup standings! Chris had also aimed to beat the world record for the LEJOGLE, riding from Lands End to John o’Groats and back; a route of 1688 miles with a record time that currently stands at 5 days 21 hours and 8 minutes. He had regrettably had to pull out of the ride back in April, due to a number of difficulties, including freezing temperatures and a persistent head wind, and with the RAAM just months away. In October, Chris set out again determined to beat the record but this time suffered a chest infection whilst half way through the attempt, which forced him to withdraw from the record attempt.
A huge congratulations to Chris on his achievements this season and we look forward to seeing what he can achieve next year with his goals of RAAM, 24 hour world title and the Tour of British Columbia, already lined up.
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