Christoph Strasser heading for the record: From Perth to Sydney in under a week

Christoph Strasser heading for the record: From Perth to Sydney in under a week

© Karelly |
© Karelly |

All the way across Australia in six and a half days: This is the 3,950 km (2,454 mi) world record challenge that Christoph Strasser has set for himself. After already establishing three best times, he is now lining up for a fourth.

Breaking records is his passion: In 2014, Christoph Strasser broke his own course record in the Race Across America (RAAM). One year later came the course record in the Race Around Austria. In 2017, the Austrian extreme sportsman wants to break the Down Under Record to become the fastest person of all time to cross Australia on a bike.

Getting moving in the height of summer

It all starts on 10 January 2017. The cyclist aims to be the first person in the world to negotiate his way through the fifth continent in only six and a half days. He will set off on the west coast on Cottesloe Beach in Perth. After a total of 3,950 km (2,454 mi), he will finish his course at the emblem of Sydney - the Opera House.

One of the biggest challenges will be posed by the weather. In January, as Central Europe is gripped by icy temperatures, Australia is at the height of summer. To better prepare and acclimate to the weather, Christoph Strasser and his team will fly over to the other side of the globe at the end of December.


The fourth Down Under record?

The German Hubert Schwarz was the first to cycle through the Australian continent. Five years later, the Austrian Wolfgang Fasching set a new record time of 7 days and 19 hours, which was broken by Gerhard Gulewicz in 2007. Gerhard crossed Australia from west to east in just under a week and nine hours. He, himself, is also supporting Christoph Strasser's planning.

Going through Australia

Christoph Strasser wants to complete the "coast to coast route" in less than a week. His route has been planned, but he can only guess at the possible challenges the route will throw up and try to prepare himself accordingly.

His route starts in Perth and takes in Kalgoorlie, Norseman, Port Augusta, Mildura, Gundagai, Jugiong, Yass, Goulburn and Campbelltown on the way to Sydney. The nearly 4,000 km (2,500 mi) route has a cumulative elevation gain of 16,000 m (52,500 feet).

Strasser's greatest challenge: The heat

It is the hottest month in Australia. The average temperature in January is nearly 30°C (85°F); sometimes the temperature reaches over 40°C (100°F).

Christopher Strasser suffered so much from the heat during the 2015 RAAM that he could not finish the race. These high temperatures will once again prove his greatest challenge as it is always hot and dry at that time, especially in the outback.

Good preparation with suitable clothing

Christoph Strasser will wear his bike kit up to 22 hours a day, and in the searing heat. This means that comfort, durability and, above all, breathability are enormously important. For this reason, owayo is sponsoring the Down Under record, equipping Strasser with the best kit, which has all of these properties.

owayo is using a special 3DDSGN printing process. This means Christoph can count on the best dispersal of moisture from the material, even in the dry outback.

The Austrian has been pushing forward the development of cycling for years already, and so he sees the Australian tour as a route which will give him a good opportunity to test new cooling techniques.


Kangaroos on the roadside

Christoph Strasser and his team are looking forward to the adventure. Although it will be no time for sightseeing, the course will take them through the fascinating natural world of Australia, full of intriguing and charming animals and plants, and along the longest straight road in the world.

What is the most important thing for successfully completing the route? Wolfgang Fasching looks back:

"It is a combination of everything: You have to bring a fervent passion for the sport with you, and have a fantastic team so that even when it gets hard, you can still enjoy it and have fun.

I think Christoph, as an athlete, and also his team combine the most important factors to carry through the project successfully."