This story was updated on June 25 to reflect a change in development.
The Race Across America (RAAM), an endurance event billed on its web site as “the world’s toughest bicycle race,” is expected to begin this Tuesday, according to the race organizers’ web site.
Competitors in RAAM, which began in 1982, will travel 3,000 miles from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, crossing 12 states and climbing over 170,000 vertical feet. In addition to teams of two, four, and eight, a total of 41 solo riders are included on the 2015 race roster. Solo racers, who will ride 250-to-350 miles per day, will have a maximum of 12 days to complete their journey.
While not a stage race, RAAM is a highly competitive event. Cyclists looking to enter as solo competitors must first typically complete a 350-mile event, average 10.5 mph, or travel 400 miles in a sanctioned 24-hour RAAM Qualifier. The current record for the fastest speed in the event’s history was set in 2014 by Austrian Christoph Strasser, who completed the course in seven days, 15 hours, and 56 minutes, 500 miles ahead of Mark Pattinson, the second-place finisher, according to Road.cc.
UPDATE: JUNE 25, 14:45 MST: 33-year-old RAAM rookie, Severin Zotter won the race on Thursday, with a time of eight days, eight hours, and 17 minutes.