Red Bull are as much pioneers in adrenaline-fuelled events as they are in energy drinks. The Utah-based Red Bull Rampage downhill MTB event is a particular favourite of the cycling community and the world-famous brand has just added a new race to their calendar. The inaugural Red Bull Time Laps took place over the weekend of the 28/29 th October in Windsor, deliberately straddling the night on which the clocks go back. That means that the event carries the unique accolade of being the longest one-day race on the calendar; a one-day race reserved for amateurs and elite cyclists keen for a gruelling night of pain and camaraderie.
What is Red Bull Time Laps?
The concept is pretty simple: it is a relay in which teams of four take it in turns to ride laps of a 6.6km closed circuit in Windsor Great Park with the ultimate goal of completing as many loops as possible in not 24, but 25 hours. The team to finish the most laps, and therefore to ride the furthest, would be crowned winner. There are various categories into which the competing teams fall with an overall competition, male, female, mixed and U25 all to play for. To spice things up a little in the depth of the night, the Tagheuer Power Hour put the racers round a shorter circuit and the laps racked up in that hour counted for double. 536 riders arrived on Saturday morning ready to take on this unique challenge and fun was had by all.
Best photos and videos from the race
This sort of event is a gift to creative photographers who are not restricted by any specific conditions. The riders, entourages and officials had 25 hours of good weather to play with including several in the dark, the time of day which hosts some of the moodiest, most atmospheric photography you can find. So, naturally, some great shots came out of the weekend. There were also a couple of short films made including one by cycling filmmaker Francis Cade who was competing with a group of mates:
[Free official photos in Google Drive folder: AB2_0747, NEWS OP_171029…]
How do you prepare?
24- and indeed 25-hour races are complicated to prepare for. In few other events are you required to ride in multiple chunks over such a long period with so little rest in between. In the run-up to the event, besides a base level of fitness, the most important thing to consider is rest. Staying up for 25 hours straight and not riding a bike is hard enough, add the race into the equation and you’ve got a truly unique situation. Luckily there is the facility to warm-up between shifts thanks to the transition zone setup whereby every team is allocated their own space. A set of rollers or turbo trainer would be a hugely important companion, as well as adequate fuel and hydration. Persuade one of your teammates to give you a post-ride massage and you’re all set!
This is an event which has got many of us scratching our heads, gazing into our bike sheds, studying the merits of our various cycling mates and wondering if we might have what it takes to enter next year. The UK’s best new endurance race, complete with party atmosphere in the pits, looks like one to keep an eye on and we’re expecting it to get bigger and bigger. Congratulations and enormous respect to everyone who took part!