Cool Event at Messe Stuttgart: Second 24-Hour Mountain Bike Race with 550 Participants ─ Fast Track Sporting Many Technical ChallengesThe first five teams participating in the 24-hour mountain bike race in Stuttgart pedalled over 600 km in the space of just one day. "This competition definitely proves that Messe Stuttgart can hold not only trade fairs and conventions, but also events of all types", explains Stefan Lohnert, Division Director Guest Events at Messe Stuttgart and participating rider in the Messe team.
Travelling around the cordoned off mountain bike track of 7.5 kilometres were solo bikers as well as teams of two, four and eight starters. As the race began, the main objective was to complete as many laps as physically possible in 24 hours ─ an undertaking that initially saw very high summertime temperatures. The race took off with a bang in an exhibition hall at 12 noon on Saturday, 27 August, 2016 and ended at the same time 1 day later on Sunday, August 28. While solo riders started at moderate speeds to save energy, the teams of two pedalled as hard as they could as the changeover point in hall 5 could ultimately decide the race. The majority of starters opted for the classic 4-member team. Teams comprising eight riders, on the other hand, focused not so much on personal performance and instead on simply having fun. Those who did not want to start alone could join up with others via a team pool. A small exhibition of bike accessories was also offered in hall 5, in addition to the paddock, where spirits were high. Even a momentary 1 1/2-hour interruption in the race at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday due to bad weather was not enough to damper the mood of the participants.
The 7.5-kilometre circuit started at the Messe Stuttgart grounds, continued through the Bosch parking garage that crosses the motorway into the Pliening field and ended back at the finish line in hall 5. The switch from asphalt to gravel and dirt road surfaces presented a sporty challenge to say the least, and to mix things up even more, obstacles were set up that had to be navigated around. For example, small jumps and truck containers were put into position as was a steep wooden ramp with a 12.5 percent gradient. Overall, however, the circuit was a fast one that only had a few minor inclines.
A total of 126 teams participated, including individual, or solo participants. The race was won by the 4-member Rapiro Racing Team, with second place going to the Rapiro Racing Team with 8 members. Both teams completed 85 laps. Coming in at third was the Aero-Beta Radon EBE Racing Team with 84 laps.
The 8-member team that rode for Messe Stuttgart took 44th place in the overall standings and completed 68 laps. Among the 8-member teams, however, the Messe Stuttgart group fared much better at 15th place. "The fun factor was what really made the event a success. Even the weather couldn't change that!", commented Stefan Lohnert in high spirits. Lohnert also offered good news for fans of the event by stating that Messe Stuttgart will host the 24-hour mountain bike race on the fair grounds in 2017 as well.