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An extraordinary attempt to set a new record with an e-mountain bike started on September 25, 2017. Focus XC Team riders Flo Vogel (SUI) and Markus Schulte-Luenzum (GER) plan to cross the Alps using Andreas Heckmair’s legendary route from Oberstdorf, Germany, to Riva del Garda, Italy, non-stop, without sleep and within 36 hours. Tackling the 400 kilometres and 16,000 vertical metres the cross-country pros will ride the new e-mountain bike Focus Project Y, which weighs only 13 kilograms.

Mountain bikers usually take 5 to 7 days to successfully complete the classic Heckmair Trans-Alps route and the recommended detour around the Passo di Campo. Reigning European cross-country champion Flo Vogel, from Rapperswil, Switzerland, and Markus Schulte-Luenzum, from Haltern, Germany, want to master the 400-kilometre route non-stop within 36 hours. On gravel paths and single track, they will conquer passes over 2,600 metres above sea level without sleep. The team is waiting for perfect weather and plan to start their trip between September 25 and 29, 2017.

The Focus XC team members will ride the Focus Project Y e-mountain bike, a race hardtail with an electric motor. Thanks to the lightweight carbon construction, engineered in Germany, it is easy to carry the e-bike on steep passages uphill. Downhill, the e-bike offers the same ride characteristics as a traditional mountain bike. Irrespective of the electric motor, the challenge should not be underestimated: permanent stress, fatigue and lack of sleep will demoralise the riders during their time in the saddle. Concentration and their reaction times will wane, even though the athletes have to be extremely vigilant on the route, which is new to the both of them. In addition, the tracks will be much more difficult to ride at night even though the riders will use headlamps. Compared to the routine of the cross-country world cup, this attempt will be a completely new challenge for the riders.

Andreas Heckmair trail-blazed his route in 1989, the first crossing of the Alps on a mountain bike. The route crosses three borders: Schrofen Pass (1,688 m) from Germany to Austria, Schlappiner Joch (2,202 m) from Austria to Switzerland, and Chaschauna Pass (2,694 m) from Switzerland to Italy. The adventure ends with a 1,600-metre downhill from Tremalzo Pass to Riva del Garda.

Follow the Focus Transalp36 attempt on the live tracking at

Project Y E-MTB is the ultimate endurance e-mountainbike. It is built to ride further and faster than any other bike. It is built to break records.

Wed 27th Sep, 2017 @ 12:30 am

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