2017 Rad am Ring Race Report from Sarah Matthews

August 04,2017

I have just recovered from an incredible weekend at Ram am Ring with Team PHenomenal Hope.

I signed up for this a year ago, not really understanding how tough the course was, but having done Race Across America twice I was not too concerned by the 24h aspect of the race. I’d prepared pretty well (I thought!) having done some half IRONMAN races and a few weeks of 500km riding.

Fast forward to last weekend and suddenly here I was jet lagged and meeting a team of people for the first time, having only met Patricia previously! I had my dad and a Belgian friend ,Stef, over with me and we went out for a “hoon” on the race track in our Fiat Punto hire car the night before the race.

The reality of this race hit me then-super super tough ride with scary descents around steep corners, a long tough 4km climb and NO lighting at night.

Luckily the team was a lot more welcoming than the race itself, and we literally were a team; on the one level we had my team of 4 but also on a bigger picture-Team Phenomenal Hope level.

During race day we had a sleeping tent where you’d get to chat with all the other riders and find out their background. We’d banter after each circuit on the track (yes we should have been sleeping!) and I made some friends there that I’ll have for life.

My team of 4 was an international mix-Sean and Mike from Ireland, me from Australia and super fast Tommy from Belgium.

Tommy’s sister Wendy has pulmonary hypertension and came to support her brother with her 02 tube in place!

She and her husband Eric were lovely and it really hit home why we are all racing for the team.

My 4 person team actually had a phenomenal race – every one of us was super consistent through the whole 24h period. We did a total of 24 laps in a very good time and I am super proud of all of us. I am very excited about continuing to race for this team:):)

Sarah Matthews

Wendy Vansteenkiste and her husband Eric at the 2017 Rad am Ring in Germany

Athletes

it really hit home why we are all racing for the team.
Sarah Matthews

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