Script:

24h of Finale Ligure (ITALY) – an adventure to remember…

Preamble - Once upon a time in Africa ...

 Mark & Pitsch checking the map in the middle of the Sahara - 1991

Mark & Pitsch checking the map in the middle of the Sahara - 1991

If Pitsch and Mark remember their journey twenty-six years ago, they often feel like it would be a fairy tale. Without great preparation and minimum of equipment, they set off to seek the adventure in Africa on two wheels. The journey back in 1991, they crossed the Sahara, then the Sahel and finally arrived in Ghana. After four months, they returned to Switzerland with a wealth of experience and a passport full of stamps.

Today, both are twice as old, their hair has a grey shade, but both feel physically fitter than back in 1991. 

While they used to sit in the saddle of their motorcycles, they now prefer muscle-driven two-wheelers. Pitsch and Mark are convinced, joint extreme experiences build a strong connection and last for life. As they both turned 50 this year, they decided to undertake another joint sports adventure – a 24h MTB race in a team of two. The world championchip for solo rider was a perfect platform for the endeavor.

24h of Finale - the race

On the 2nd June 2017 at exactly 10 am, they started in the Italian Finale (Liguria) to take part in the 24-hour mountain bike race as a two-man team. During the 24 hours, they tried to cycle as many laps as possible on the course with 10 kilometre length and approximately 300 meter elevation gain. The track was challenging but beautiful and thanks to the perfect weather simply fantastic, Pitsch tells with a sparkle in his eyes, so you can truly feel his passion.

While at the beginning of the race, the adrenaline shifted the body into euphoric ecstasy and masked any pain, the real competition took place in the second half of the race. At midnight, both riders already pedalled for 7 hours and it began to be difficult to remain concentrated and keep physical as well as mental fatigue under control.

 

 

The hardest race was then between 2 o'clock and about 6 o'clock in the morning. When the sun showed up again and announced for most of the new day, it still had to last four long hours. This was also the time when they switched from the 2-lap clock to the break after each lap.

 A lonesome warrior passing the quiet camp in the early morning hours.

A lonesome warrior passing the quiet camp in the early morning hours.

 Seconds after crossing the finish line of the 24h of Finale 2017

Seconds after crossing the finish line of the 24h of Finale 2017

Both have survived the competition well and have straightened about 180 km and about 5000 meters of altitude in difficult terrain.

 

 

 

 

 

After the race, the two had a day at the sea filling the empty energy storage. Beside Mark’s flat tire and small spill from Pitsch everything ran perfectly. In 25 years, when we are 75 years old and still fit, then we are going to doe next adventure, but then probably again with motor support - both laugh.

Impressions of the race