The start of the Race Across America (RAAM) later today means that dot-watchers, as fans who follow ultracycling events through live tracking are known, will have four races to keep tabs on simultaneously.
The solo riders in the 4,800-kilometre race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis Maryland starts at 8pm BST this evening, with the men’s solo field led by defending champion Christophe Strasser.
The Austrian, who also won in 2011, 2013 and 2014, is seeking his fifth victory in the race which would see him tied with the late Jure Robič of Slovenia as the most successful rider in RAAM history.
There’s British interest, too, with Russell Kesley and Manchester City FC medic Max Sala both entered in the solo category, while four UK squads are entered in the four-person relay category which starts later in the week.
Three other ultracycling races are currently taking place and unlike RAAM, which permits full support for riders, all are unsupported.
One is the TransAtlantic Way race in Ireland, now in its third edition, with defending champion Bjorn Lenhard the first man home this afternoon.
The German has some serious ultracycling pedigree – he’s the reigning champion of Paris-Brest-Paris, having won the last edition in 2015, and was runner up in last year’s Transcontinental Race.
Plenty of riders are yet to complete the race and can be tracked at the link above, with TrackLeaders.com also currently providing live tracking for events including the Trans Am Bike Race and the Tour Divide.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.