Lukas Kaufmann: »It was much softer than I imagined«

Lukas Kaufmann: »It was much softer than I imagined«
Lukas Kaufmann: »It was much softer than I imagined«

Arrived at the finish line: Lukas Kaufmann

His “workplace” for the last nine days was the saddle of his racing bike. 4,923 kilometers, over 50,000 meters of elevation, all in one go.

With just over ten hours of net sleep time, the 30-year-old from Kronstorf completed the world-famous ultra-cycling classic, arriving on the east coast of the USA shortly after 8 p.m. CET on Thursday evening.

“It was much, much tougher than I imagined. But now I’m just happy that we did it. I’m grateful to everyone who helped make it so great,” Lukas Kaufmann told the OÖN yesterday in a first audio message after crossing the finish line. He is the first Upper Austrian since Gerhard Gulewicz in 2010 to finish the RAAM in second place and thus on the podium.

  • Also read: 4923 kilometers nonstop on the bike – “It really drives you crazy”

The performance also earned respect from Austria’s RAAM record winner Christoph Strasser. “Luki can be proud of himself. It was his first time taking part and he put in such a performance.”

It might not have been his last. Even before the start, Kaufmann had said at the press conference before his departure for the USA in Linz when asked whether he would compete there more often: “Never say never. Once I get excited about something, I want to see it through.”

In addition to the physical violence, the financial aspect is also a decisive factor. But Kaufmann is also a complete professional in this regard. “Many athletes believe that if you can cycle fast, it will come naturally. But cycling is not so important in Austria and there are only a handful of drivers who can make a living from it. That’s why self-promotion is very important. That’s part of being a professional.”

By the way: with the Floro Racing Team, a team from Gmunden is still in the race at the RAAM. And doing extremely well. About 300 miles from the finish (as of 10 a.m. Friday) Florian Werner, Adi Stöger, Bernhard Goll and Peter Brandenburger currently in third place.

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