Cancer researcher Fiona Kolbinger was a relative unknown in Europe’s 2,485-mile Transcontinental Race that took 265 cyclists from Burgas, Bulgaria to Brest, France. That changed, however, when she dominated the entire field to win the event in 10 days, two hours and 48 minutes.

The second-fastest rider? Ben Davies, from the U.K., who was still roughly 11 hours behind the 24-year-old old Kolbinger.

“When I was coming into the race, I thought that maybe I could go for the women’s podium, but I never thought I could win the whole race … I think I could have gone harder. I could have slept less,” she said.

The real kicker is it was even Kolbinger’s first ultra-endurance event.

The race took riders across Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, France, Italy, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia and Switzerland, where they could choose their own route, but had to hit four mandatory check points along the way. They were also fully self-supported, meaning they could not accept things like food, water or a spare tire from friends or strangers.

Kolbinger, who lives in Heidelberg, Germany, averaged about four hours of sleep a night as she rode through severe mountain thunderstorms, intense heat and powerful winds.

As for what she had on her throughout the event, she posted her necessities on Strava:


Apidura Racing Handlebar Pack (5L)
Apidura Racing Saddle Pack (7L)
Rapha top tube pack
Osprey Ultralight Stuff Rucksack


Inner tube x4
Tyre boot
Set of patches
Abus cable lock
Roll of electrical tape
Cable tie x8
Spare Continental GP5000 tire
Topeak Hexus 16 multi-tool
Finish Line CC Wet Chain Lube – 120ml
Tyre lever x4
Shimano Ultegra brake pads
Section of tire


USB plug
Garmin eTrex Touch
Accessory cables
USB splitter
Mech hanger
Abus cable lock
AA Battery x8

Personal hygiene and care

Chewing gum x2
Meridol toothpaste
Factor 50 sun lotion
ASSOS Chamois cream
Compeed Blister patches
Lobello sun protect lip balm
Caffeine Gel x6
Hydration Tablets


Credit card x2 in waterproof ziplock
Wearable reflective tape
Giro Foray helmet
Set of Roeckl Polartec gloves
Cateye Volt500 front light
Knog Blinder Mob rear light
Pearl Izumi leg and arm warmers
Rapha Souplesse Rain Shell
Yeti Fever Zero sleeping bag
Sunglasses plus an extra visor

The big question is, what’s Kolbinger’s next race? Will she step away from the oncology lab, and bolt to the front of the pack again without looking back?  All bets are on this cycling ninja capturing another win soon.